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

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.


Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 16 September 2019

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.