Hotline established to respond to Hajj-related queries

General view from a plane window shows muslims as they make their way to cast stones at a pillar that symbolises Satan during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mina, Saudi Arabia, in this September 2, 2017 file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 14 August 2018

Hotline established to respond to Hajj-related queries

  • The preachers will be available to provide information on different Hajj procedures on the phone

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs has allocated a 24-hour hotline (8002451000) during the Hajj season, to answer religious inquiries of pilgrims and others. As many as 128 preachers, 81 in Makkah and 47 in Madinah, will be available to answer pilgrims’ queries around the clock.
The preachers will be available to provide information on different Hajj procedures on the phone.
There are 59 phone lines: 24 in Makkah, 6 in Madinah and 29 in the sites of Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat. These lines operate according to the telecommunications relay service that receives the call directly and transfers it to the next line if there is no answer, according to a schedule placed by the provider.
An administrative team is in charge of arranging and coordinating the schedules of the preachers to cover all working hours.
The administrative team consists of seven employees in addition to a coordinator.
The number of calls received from the 20th of Dhul Qadah until the beginning of Dul Hijjah reached 9,271.


Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Updated 8 min 42 sec ago

Iraq denies links to drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

  • The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen
  • ‘Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors’

BAGHDAD: Baghdad on Sunday denied any link to drone attacks on Saudi oil plants, after media speculation that the strikes were launched from Iraq despite being claimed by Yemeni rebels.
The attacks early Saturday targeted two key oil installations, causing massive fires and taking out half of the kingdom’s vast oil output.
The operation was claimed by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war.
But the Wall Street Journal has reported that officials were investigating the possibility the attacks involved missiles launched from Iraq or Iran.
Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi on Sunday denied reports Iraqi territory “was used for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities.”
“Iraq is constitutionally committed to preventing any use of its soil to attack its neighbors,” he said in a statement.
“The Iraqi government will be extremely firm with whomever tries to violate the constitution.”
Iraq is home to several Iran-backed militias and paramilitary factions, placing it in an awkward situation amid rising tensions between its two main sponsors, Tehran and Washington.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo squarely accused Tehran of being behind Saturday’s operation, saying there was no evidence the “unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply” was launched from Yemen.
Iraq has called for its territory to be spared any spillover in the standoff between the US and Iran, which has included a series of attacks on shipping in sensitive Gulf waters.
Recent raids on bases belonging to Iraqi Shiite paramilitary groups linked with Iran, attributed to Israel, sparked fears of an escalation.
There have been no military consequences so far, but the strikes have heightened divisions between pro-Tehran and pro-Washington factions in Iraq’s political class.
Baghdad has recently moved to repair ties with Saudi Arabia, a key US ally — much to Iran’s chagrin.
Riyadh recently announced a major border post on the Iraqi frontier would reopen mid-October, after being closed for almost three decades.