Makkah: Saudi forces successfully prevent man from setting himself on fire

A video clip circulating on social media showed a man being hustled away from the Kaaba by pilgrims and security guards.
Updated 07 February 2017
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Makkah: Saudi forces successfully prevent man from setting himself on fire

JEDDAH: Saudi security forces successfully prevented a man from setting himself alight beside the Kaaba inside Makkah’s Grand Mosque late on Monday.

The man, who police said shows signs of mental illness, tried to set himself alight with gasoline but was arrested before he could do so.

The media spokesman for the special forces Maj. Raed Sameh Al-Sulami said that a citizen in his 40s was arrested near the Kaaba on Monday at 11 p.m. after pouring gasoline on his clothes.
 
“He was held before he went on with his dramatic self-immolation act and his behavior indicates that he is mentally ill. All the necessary measures will be taken,” the spokesman said.
 
Police did not elaborate on what action would be taken following the incident.
 
 
A video clip circulating on social media, which could not immediately be verified, showed a man being hustled away from the Kaaba, the black-clad building toward which the world’s Muslims face to pray.
 
A report by online news site Sabq.org said a citizen saw the man pouring liquid on himself from a flask. Noticing that the liquid was gasoline, he grabbed the flask and shouted for help.
 
Security guards and police are seen acting swiftly to deal with the incident, aided by pilgrims.
 
The incident follows another disturbance in 2014, when a man — also described by police as mentally ill — caused alarm when he broke lanterns at the Grand Mosque. 


New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

Updated 24 March 2019
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New technologies help increase number of flights, passengers in Saudi Arabia’s airports — GACA

  • More than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018
  • GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh

JEDDAH: New technologies applied in Saudi Arabia's airports has contributed to aviation growth in the Kingdom and has provided solutions for passenger’s trips, air cargo and investments, the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has said.

GACA earlier reported an 8 percent increase in passenger numbers and 4 percent in flight rates in 2018.

It said more than 99.86 million passengers departed or arrived through 771,828 flights in the Kingdom's international and domestic airports in 2018, compared to 92.42 million passengers on board 741,293 flights in 2017.

"The GACA is keen to adopt plans to develop the Kingdom's airports network in order to keep pace with the steady increase in air traffic, increase the reliability of services, maximize geographic coverage and enhance the contribution of the airports to the overall economic growth of the country," it said.

For example, it said, GACA provides information through technology to reduce paperwork, operating costs and streamline business processes while reducing time to address them.

Most prominent among these e-services is the “Self-Services at the Kingdom's airports” that include check-in kiosks that provide boarding passes and luggage identification cards and self-service baggage drops that allows passengers to self-check their luggage.

It also provides self-scanning devices for bags in the arrival halls, ensuring that all baggage and other cargo arrive at the airport through the installation of electronic gates for the passage of freight vehicles before being emptied into the luggage compartment. 

Electronic gates and document scanning machines ensure that a traveler's information is correct and that boarding passes, passports, national identity and residency are valid.

Other services include airport operations systems and flight information display for some domestic airports.

To ensure accuracy in the flight schedules, GACA said it is working on a project to link the Saudi Arabian Airlines traffic management system to the Airport Management System, of which 50 percent has been completed.

GACA is due to host Global Aviation Summit 2019 on April 1 and 2 in Riyadh to review the infrastructure projects for airports and smart airports, the available opportunities to operate the airports and provide advanced services and consultations in civil aviation, among others.