The Haramain train to return to service in 30 days after Jeddah fire

Saudi Civil Defense firefighters put out a fire that broke out at the Haramain high-speed train station in Jeddah. (AFP)
Updated 02 October 2019

The Haramain train to return to service in 30 days after Jeddah fire

  • The service was halted on Sunday after a fire broke out at the station in Jeddah
  • The transport minister praised the various sectors that worked together to contain the blaze

RIYADH: The Haramain high-speed train network, which was hit by a huge fire, will resume operations within 30 days, Saudi Arabia's transport minister said Tuesday.
The service was halted on Sunday after a fire broke out at the station in Jeddah, injuring at least five people.
“Despite the damage caused by the fire, the Haramain train will resume its services within 30 days using the new King Abdulaziz Airport Terminal, as well as as well as stations in Makkah, King Abdullah Economic City and Medina, to serve Jeddah’s residents and visitors,” Nabeel Al-Amoudi, Minister of Transport and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Railways Company (SAAR).
The minister praised the various sectors that worked together to contain the blaze in Jeddah's Sulaimaniyah district.
Al-Amoudi thanked the Saudi Civil Defense, the General Security Aviation Command, the Red Crescent, support teams from Saudi Aramco, the Air Force and Civil Aviation.
The minister toured the site of the blaze on Monday to assess the extent of the damage.
Passengers and workers were evacuated from the station as soon as the fire alarm systems went off at 12:05 p.m. on Sunday. 
The blaze, which was centered in the roof of the station, lasted for 15 hours.


Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

Updated 09 December 2019

Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

  • Patrolling operations on respective sides are conducted by respective forces, military spokesman says
  • Last month, army chief visited Tehran for security talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army spokesperson on Monday rejected media reports suggesting that Pakistani and Iranian security forces conducted joint border patrolling.
“News published by Dawn today ('Pak-Iran Forces jointly conduct border patrolling') is factually incorrect,” Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, said in a tweet.
He added that “there is no joint patrolling anywhere on Pakistani borders” as “patrolling operations if required are always on respective sides by respective forces through coordination.”

The English-language daily reported earlier on the day that Pakistan and Iran had conducted another joint patrol on the border near Taftan town in Chagai district, Balochistan.
Soon after Ghafoor's comment, Dawn's editor Zaffar Abbas clarified that “the confusion was caused by the official news agency APP, as the picture caption said ‘joint patrolling.’ Radio Pak also tweeted the same. But we will be carrying out correction in light of your statement.”

Border security has long been a major cause of distrust in Pakistan-Iran relations. 
In April, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the two countries would form a joint quick-reaction force to combat militant activity on their shared border, following a deadly attack on Pakistani security personnel on the coastal highway in southwestern Balochistan, where 14 soldiers lost their lives.
On Nov. 18, Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Tehran for security talks with Iran's political leadership and military leadership.
In May this year, Pakistan began the fencing of certain areas along the 950-kilometer border it shares with Iran.