Saudi ministry hosts stranded Pakistani pilgrims

A temporary closure of air space over Pakistan snarled air traffic. (File/AFP)
Updated 01 March 2019

Saudi ministry hosts stranded Pakistani pilgrims

  • A temporary closure of air space over Pakistan snarled air traffic
  • The closing of Pakistan's airspace saw Gulf Arab airlines rapidly reshuffle their flights

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah will host Pakistani pilgrims to Makkah and Madinah who are unable to return home as a result of the outbreak in hostilities with India in Kashmir.

The announcement came after Islamabad closed its airspace, airports and canceled all flights in and out of the country. 

Planes flying to Pakistan from Jeddah, and Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz International Airport in Madinah, will be grounded until further notice.

The Kingdom’s undersecretary for Umrah affairs, Abdulaziz Wazzan, said the ministry had opened reception centers to accommodate and feed any pilgrims whose flights had been canceled, and would continue to do so until alternatives could be arranged.

He said that the ministry was housing 2,000 Pakistani pilgrims in hotels in Makkah, with another 1,000 in Madinah. 

The welfare and safety of the pilgrims, Wazzan said, was their main priority. 


Houthis drone attack targets Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jawf

Updated 31 min 9 sec ago

Houthis drone attack targets Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jawf

  • The drone was intercepted over Yemeni airspace
  • The coalition destroyed three drones during the earlier 24 hours

DUBAI: The Arab coalition destroyed a Houthi drone targeting Al-Jawf in the north of Saudi Arabia, state news agency SPA reported on Monday.

Coalition forces intercepted the drone while it was still in Yemen’s airspace.

Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said, the militia’s continued attempted attacks would end in failure,

Earlier on Monday, the coalition announced that they successfully destroyed three Houthi drones and intercepted six ballistic missiles targeting Saudi Arabia over 24 hours.

The missiles, which were launched from Saada, were targeting civilian areas in Al-Jazan, Al-Maliki said.

Earlier in August, 10 drones were fired at the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction plant in Saudi Arabia, near the UAE border – the Houthis claim responsibility for the attack.

There were no injuries and operations were not disrupted.