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Over 120,000 illegal pilgrims turned back from Makkah

Saudi police officers check passengers and vehicles at a checkpoint on Makkah-Jeddah highway in Makkah. (File photo)
JEDDAH: Security forces turned back more than 120,000 people who were headed to Makkah without a Hajj permit, and seized 61,600 vehicles, as of Aug. 17.
Hajj security forces said they will step up operations with new security and traffic checkpoints on the roads leading to Makkah.
They stressed the importance of Saudis and residents cooperating with security forces to enable pilgrims to benefit from projects and services offered by the Kingdom.

Civil Defense deployed to safeguard pilgrims
The director of the General Directorate of Civil Defense in the Makkah region, Maj. Gen. Salim bin Marzouq Al-Matrafi, said field units and teams have been deployed in all areas to ensure pilgrims’ safety.
Mobile and fixed Civil Defense teams are fully prepared to deal with any incidents covering all roads on which pilgrims are arriving, he said.
Forces have taken up positions to provide firefighting, rescue and emergency services during the current Hajj season should the need arise, he added.
There are also rapid-intervention teams that can respond and act until the arrival of firefighting and rescue teams, Al-Matrafi said, lauding the coordination between the Civil Defense and other government agencies in Makkah.
Support centers have been prepared in the east and west of Makkah, as well as the central area surrounding the Holy Mosque, he added.

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