Houthi militia ‘continues to use civilians as human shields’

Arab Coalition Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki speaks at a press conference in Riyadh. (Reuters)
Updated 12 November 2018
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Houthi militia ‘continues to use civilians as human shields’

JEDDAH: The Houthi militia are using civilians as human shields in key Yemeni cities as they continue to lose territoy in the conflict.

Last week, Amnesty accused the Iran-backed militants of taking over a hospital in Hodeidah and posting snipers on the roof.

But the Houthis are also deliberatley placing civilians in the firing line in other parts of the port, in Sanaa and Dhamar, Arab Coalition spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki said in Riyadh.

In an update of recent operations to support pro-government Yemeni forces, Col. Al-Maliki said the coalition targeted a coastal militia radar on the island of Al-Bawadi in the Red Sea.

The coalition called on organizations to do their duty to stop the Houthi militia from smuggling Yemen’s historical monuments and artefacts out of the country.

Col. Al-Maliki the Houthi militia are smuggling and selling drugs for financial support, adding that they use humanitarian aid boxes to hide drugs inside in order to transport them.

The coalition said the Houthi militia have launched 206 ballistic missiles toward Saudi Arabia so far from within Yemeni territory.


Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

Updated 26 May 2019
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Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

  • Umrah trip held as part of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative 

JEDDAH: Several Muslims with special needs have benefited from a special Umrah pilgrimage organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to statement from the ministry, the Umrah trip, was held on the 17th of Ramadan  (May 22) under the “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative in partnership with Sawt Alasm association in Jeddah.

A busload of 20 people with special needs were accompanied by 12 volunteers of Sadiq Almutamir, including sign language interpreters for the deaf pilgrims. 

The first stop was at Kuday area in Makkah, where pilgrims received the special gifts of Sadiq Almutamir, supported by the Establishment of Motawifs of South East Asian Pilgrims. Next was their arrival at the Grand Mosque, wherein the pilgrims performed Umrah, enjoyed Iftar meals, and received souvenirs from Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association. 

Volunteers assisted the pilgrims by communicating with them, providing instructions and directions in addition to sharing their feelings with the support of the sign language interpreters. 

Sadiq Almutamir also accompanied pilgrims during the performance of Umrah, providing wheelchairs for the elderly, sharing breakfast, and learning about their impressions of performing Umrah for their first time. 

Sadiq Almutamir is one of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s initiatives in Makkah’s Cultural Forum. It focuses on promoting the culture of giving and cooperation between the Saudi youth as well as elevating the volunteering services provided to Umrah pilgrims in order to enrich their experiences. It also provides optional tours to visit attractions, monuments, and places contribute to enriching experiences of Mutamirs and immortalizing beautiful memories in the Kingdom.

Launched late last year, the initiative aims to develop the spirit of volunteerism among Muslims and to invest in the youth by engaging young men and women in service and social responsibility.

“It focuses as well on improving the efficiency level of services provided to pilgrims, promoting the culture of volunteering, helping elderly and special needs’ people to perform Umrah rituals, and finally contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 of reaching 1 million volunteers annually,” ministry statement said.

The trip was held in cooperation with the Western Fleet Transport, in coordination with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims’ transportation affairs and Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association.