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
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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.


KSA supports sanctions on Iran: Al-Jubeir

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir at the inauguration of the Communication and Media Center. (Photo by Basheer Saleh)
Updated 1 min 16 sec ago
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KSA supports sanctions on Iran: Al-Jubeir

  • The US sanctions on Iran will become effective after a week as announced by the US State Department

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia supports all sanctions imposed on Iran due to its support for terrorism, violation of international agreements and its interference in the internal affairs of other countries, said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir.
Speaking to Arab News on Sunday after the launch of the Communication and Media Center (CMC) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Al-Jubeir blamed the Iranian government for the imposition of sanctions by the international community. “Tehran violates Security Council resolution on ballistic missiles and resolutions on supporting terrorism.”
For Iran to maintain normal ties with the international community, he said, Iran must respect international laws, the principle of good neighborliness and should follow the policy of non-interference in the affairs of other countries.
The foreign minister said Iran must abandon its support for terrorism and must stop supplying ballistic missiles to terrorist militias who use these against civilians.
The US sanctions on Iran will become effective after a week as announced by the US State Department. In early August, sanctions will be imposed on Iran targeting its central bank, bullion market and the energy sector.
In the second phase starting in November, sanctions will be reportedly imposed on oil and foreign financial transactions.

Digital diplomacy
The launch of the CMC in Riyadh is an important milestone. The aim of the center is to establish a worldwide platform in digital diplomacy using 32 languages.
Ahmed Al-Towayan, the general manager of the center said: “New initiatives will be implemented to use artificial intelligence in relaying our message through media. The best is yet to come, as our country seeks to be the best and will not accept anything less.”
He said with the support of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman the center will reach new heights and help disseminate Saudi Arabia’s positive cultural message across the world.
“Through CMC we (will) work to have initiatives of cooperation and communication with other countries globally, which is a part of Vision 2030,” Al-Towayan said.
He said that all employees at the center are Saudis who are competent and have a noble message and goal.
Al-Jubeir said the center is working to summarize the Kingdom’s political positions (on different global and regional issues), whether they are related to the UN, the Arab League or bilateral relations and terrorism.
Al-Jubeir said the center is in contact with Saudi embassies around the world to coordinate efforts among them and to obtain information from these embassies and to provide information to them.