Saudi Supreme Court urges sighting of Shawwal crescent on Saturday

The waning crescent moon is pictured over Kuwait City on June 20, 2017. Muslims across Saudi Arabia are encouraged to sight the Shawwal crescent moon by the naked eye or binoculars on Saturday and report any sighting to the nearest court and register their testimony. (AFP / Yasser Al-Zayyat)
Updated 23 June 2017
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Saudi Supreme Court urges sighting of Shawwal crescent on Saturday

RIYADH: With the call of the Supreme Court to sight the Shawwal crescent on Saturday, mosques are making arrangements to accommodate congregations for Eid Al-Fitr prayers.
In an announcement on Thursday, the Supreme Court said that whoever sees the Shawwal crescent moon by the naked eye or binoculars should report to the nearest court and register his testimony, or to the nearest center to facilitate communicating with the court. According to astronomical projections, there is a chance of seeing the moon on the 29 of Ramadan, which falls on Saturday.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs announced that Eid Al-Fitr prayers will be conducted in mosques, which will be announced by the government.
In Riyadh, there are some 650 mosques designated for that purpose. Arrangements will also be made to conduct Eid prayers in 33 open spaces, including Sulaimaniyah, Deira and Manfuha, with special places allocated for women.
The Department of Mosques at the ministry has instructed prayer leaders (imams) and those responsible for the maintenance of Eid mosques to ensure that all preparations, including adequate supplies of power and water, are made.
Contracting companies that maintain mosques in the city have been asked to clean the entire worshipping area of the Eid mosques and lay carpets for worshippers.
Emergency plans have been put in place for the use of the nearest big mosque in case of rain on the open grounds.
Jeddah municipality has made arrangements in some 280 locations across the city and suburbs. There are 225 Eid mosques and 55 temporary yards in the city for the Eid prayers. Around 1,000 cleaning personnel will be assigned to these sites to ensure adequate supplies of power and water.


Saudi customs thwart smuggling attempts on buses transporting Umrah worshippers

Updated 17 min 11 sec ago
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Saudi customs thwart smuggling attempts on buses transporting Umrah worshippers

RIYADH: The Halat Ammar Customs on the Kingdom’s northwestern border prevented two attempts to smuggle a quantity of 184,737 Fenethylline tablets, also known by the brand name of Captagon.
The pills were discovered hidden on two buses that were transporting passengers to the Kingdom’s holy sites.
Mohammed Qaisi, the customs general manager, said the first bus was carrying 47 passengers and after the customs procedures were finalized and the passengers were processed, a bag containing 100,000 tablets was found.
“The narcotics were hidden in an artistic way and were placed inside the bag’s lining,” he said.
Qaisi also said the second attempt was thwarted in a similar way. The other bus was transporting 31 passengers, on which a total of 84,737 Captagon pills were seized.
Saudi Arabia usually witnesses a rise of smuggling attempts during the Umrah and Hajj seasons, as they are exploited by smugglers trying to transport narcotics and other contraband. 
Saudi Customs said it is exerting great efforts and working with all its human and technical capabilities to prevent the entry of illegal substances.