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2.5 million foreign, local pilgrims expected

Hundreds of thousands of Muslim worshipers perform Friday prayer under the protective shade of giant umbrellas at the courtyard of the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. (SPA)

RIYADH: The Civil Defense has chalked out an integrated plan for the last 10 days of Ramadan and the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.
Addressing his officers on Wednesday, director general of the Civil Defense, Gen. Sulaiman bin Abdullah Al-Amro, said the plan will offer a comfortable pilgrimage by ensuring safety and security for all worshipers who come to Makkah and Madinah.
Al-Amro said Civil Defense officers will be deployed in the Tawaf area with back-up vehicles to transfer pilgrims to the nearest medical facility in case of emergency. Fire and rescue teams with vehicles and motorcycles will also transport affected pilgrims.
Officers will issue citations for vehicles, which transport pilgrims that give off too many carbon emissions.
Some 2.5 million foreign and local pilgrims are expected to participate in the pilgrimage this season.
Meanwhile, Deputy Director General of Civil Defense Maj. Gen. Hamad bin Abdul Aziz Al-Mubdel has attributed the success of Umrah season to concerted efforts of various sectors, noting that the second phase of the plan, which is meant for the last 10 days of Ramadan, will witness an intensification of work, and more readiness and preparations.
The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah has made preparations to accommodate 15,000 worshipers. The administration has doubled the facilities for worshipers, who registered online.
Those performing itikaf in Makkah were advised to take basic toiletries and three to four sets of clothing for the period, including warm clothes because of air conditioning in the Grand Mosque.

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