Frenchman commits suicide in Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mosque in Makkah

An aerial view shows the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Makkah on June 3, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 09 June 2018
0

Frenchman commits suicide in Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mosque in Makkah

  • An expatriate commits suicide in the Grand Mosque in Makkah by throwing himself off the roof and onto the circumambulation ground
  • A spokesperson said the body was rushed to the hospital as an investigation commenced into the reason behind the death

RIYADH: A Frenchman has committed suicide by throwing himself off the roof of the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi and French officials said Saturday.
“A foreigner threw himself from the roof of the Grand Mosque in Makkah” to the courtyard below, “resulting in his instant death,” Saudi police told the official SPA news agency.
A French foreign ministry official told AFP in Paris that the dead man was French but gave no further details.
The rare act was not the first of its kind to take place in Makkah, the holiest city in Islam — which, like other monotheistic religions, prohibits suicide.
The body was transported to hospital, with an investigation underway “to determine the victim’s identity, what led to the act and how he was able to commit it despite the existence of a metal fence,” SPA said.
Last year, a Saudi man tried to set himself on fire in front of the Kaaba — the square stone building in the center of the mosque compound — but was stopped by security forces.
Every year, millions of Muslim pilgrims from across the world travel to Makkah and Medina, Islam’s second holiest site, also in western Saudi Arabia.


Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

Updated 18 min 50 sec ago
0

Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

  • The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.
  • Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels.

JEDDAH: Saudi-led coalition officials on Tuesday displayed weapons and explosives supplied by Iran to Houthi militias in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. 

The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.

Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels. The weapons were captured on the battlefield in Hodeidah and displayed at a military base in the UAE. 

“Unsurprisingly, there are advanced military components in the Houthi militias’ hands,” said Talal Al-Teneiji, an official at the UAE Foreign Ministry.

“We took time to inspect and disassemble these to figure out the source ... and we can say that these elements are military-grade materials imported from Iran to the Houthi militias.”

As the week-long offensive in Hodeidah intensified on Tuesday, coalition forces consolidated their grip on the city’s airport and there was new fighting on the main coast road leading to the city center, with Apache helicopters providing air support to the coalition. 

“We can hear the sounds of artillery, mortars and sporadic machinegun fire. The Houthis have been using tanks,” one civilian on the coastal strip said. 

“Water has been cut off to many of the areas near the corniche area because the Houthis have dug trenches and closed water pipes.”

At the airport, which the coalition has controlled since Saturday, their forces stormed the main compound and took full command.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said: “We are waiting for the Houthis to realize the sort of military and psychological blow that they got with the airport ... we are giving them time to decide if they want to save the city ... and pull out.”

Oubai Shahbandar, a strategic communications adviser, told Arab News that “without the sea and airport of Hodeidah, the Houthi militia has effectively lost the war.”

They should agree to UN-hosted peace talks and not prolong the fighting. “The tide in this conflict has clearly turned in favor of the Arab coalition and the welfare of the Yemeni people ought to be paramount,” he said.