KSA condemns France carnage

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ROAD HORROR: Forensic experts collect evidence from the truck after its driver Franco-Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, inset, plowed through Bastille Day revelers in the French resort city of Nice on Thursday.
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Updated 16 July 2016

KSA condemns France carnage

JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman on Friday offered condolences to French President François Hollande over a terrorist strike in the southern city of Nice that killed 84 people and injured scores during the Bastille Day celebrations. 
 
Expressing solidarity with Paris, the king reiterated the Saudi stance on the rejection of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and the importance of international efforts to confront and eliminate it. 
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also sent similar cables of condolences in which they also wished the injured speedy recovery. 
Condemning the heinous crime, the Council of Senior Scholars stressed that Islam upholds the sanctity of human blood and criminalizes terrorism that kills and terrifies innocent people in their homes, markets and facilities teeming with men, women and children. “All humanity rejects and condemns it.”
Abdullah bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Turki, Muslim World League secretary general, said that the organization emphasizes its firm position that such terrorist acts that target innocent people, seek to destabilize security and terrorize secure societies are not related to Islam, and contradict human values and principles.
The Gulf Cooperation Council said its member countries “stand in solidarity with the French republic following this cowardly criminal incident whose perpetrators have been stripped of all moral and human values.”
Egypt's top scholar Shawki Allam condemned the assailant as an “extremist” who follows in the footsteps of the devil. “Islam never called for the spilling of blood,” Allam said in a statement. “People who commit such ugly crimes are corrupt of the earth, and follow in the footsteps of Satan... and are cursed in this life and in the hereafter.”
French authorities Friday identified a Tunisian man as the driver of the truck that smashed into the  crowd. France's anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said the 31-year-old Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel was “completely unknown” to the intelligence services but that the attack was “exactly in line with” calls from radical groups to kill.
As France was left reeling from its third major attack within 18 months, President Francois Hollande warned that the toll could rise further, with more than 50 people fighting for their lives.
The assault left a scene of carnage on Nice's famous Promenade des Anglais, with mangled bodies strewn over the palm tree-lined walkway.
One witness said a motorcyclist tried to stop the rampage by drawing level with the truck and attempting to open the door of its cab before he fell and ended up under its wheels.
Dramatic video footage showed police surrounding the heavily damaged truck and firing through the windscreen to kill the attacker.


Saudi airports welcome back passengers after two-month hiatus

Updated 26 min 5 sec ago

Saudi airports welcome back passengers after two-month hiatus

  • Social distancing and face masks required in aircraft
  • Two local flights to be added daily to restore capacity 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is welcoming the return of aircraft and passengers amid strict precautionary measures to counter the spread of coronavirus.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) on Sunday opened 11 of the Kingdom’s 28 airports in a step toward restoring normality to everyday activities.
All flights and means of travel between Saudi cities ground to a halt on March 21.
“The progressive and gradual reopening aims at controlling the crowd inside airports because we want to achieve the highest health efficiency,” GACA spokesman Ibrahim bin Abdullah Alrwosa told Arab News.
He said that two local flights would be added daily until all routes returned to their normal capacity, during which time GACA would increase the capacity of aircrafts as decided by relevant committees. 
GACA has issued a travel guide for passengers, detailing what steps have been taken by authorities to ensure public health and safety and what obligations are on passengers. 
A decision about the return of international flights was up to authorities, he said. 


“I call on all travelers, both Saudis and residents, to read this guide and to look at the information and details in it because the travel decision depends on it,” the spokesman added.
Passengers found to violate any of the terms and conditions will not be allowed to complete the check-in process as per the new travel procedures.
The new terms include the use of e-tickets and passengers will not be allowed to enter airport premises without one. Purchasing tickets inside airport grounds is currently not an option because booking services for airline sales are currently closed.
Wearing a face mask is a prerequisite for airport access and any individual who fails to wear a face mask will be denied entry to the airport.
Passengers under the age of 15 will not be allowed to travel unaccompanied.
The Ministry of Health has set up temperature checkpoints inside the airport and passengers recording a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher will be denied entry in order to ensure their safety and the safety of other passengers.
Social distancing inside the airport has been adopted at entrances, exits, at seating areas and bridges leading to airplanes.
There will be social distancing on the aircraft, with an empty seat between each passenger, according to recommendations from the Ministry of Health, which stipulated that there must be social distancing.
“We want to make airports a safe environment to achieve a safe flight. There is another important issue, which is a well-known social tradition. There are many people at the airport who come to say goodbye to their loved ones or receive them. We will not allow the presence of people who do not have tickets in the airports, in order to ensure the safety of passengers,” said the GACA spokesman.
He said that passenger cooperation and compliance played a key role in the successful restart of flights.
“We rely on citizens and passengers, locals and residents alike, to help us implement preventive measures and to comply with the health rules recommended by the Ministry of Health.”