2 million worshippers pray at Grand Mosque on 27th night

Updated 16 July 2015

2 million worshippers pray at Grand Mosque on 27th night

JEDDAH: More than two million worshippers offered Isha and taraweeh prayers on 27th night of Ramadan at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, in a highly spiritual atmosphere.

The government led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has ensured elaborate security as well as comfort by providing all necessary services to the guests of Allah in the form of mega projects.
Muslims normally consider the night of 27th Ramadan as Laylat Al-Qadr, which equalizes one thousand months (nearly 83 years) while they humbly pray to Allah to have them accepted with the winners in paradise.
Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal said that serving visitors of the Grand Mosque is a big honor and that all are working tirelessly to provide utmost comfort and facilities to the worshippers, especially in the last 10 days of Ramadan.
The roofs and courtyards of the Grand Mosque were full of worshippers amid an integrated system of services and comprehensive care provided by the government.
Mohamed Al-Mutasim, 54, a Sudanese who came to perform Umrah, said he performed the religious ritual easily and comfortably despite huge numbers of pilgrims.
Mohamed Rahman, 34, an Indonesian, said they have faced no problems since their arrival at the airport till the time of entering the Grand Mosque. “I devoted full time praying for my family, children and all Muslims,” he told Arab News.
On the other hand, head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais said the presidency has trained more than 12,000 male and female assistants together with all possible services, including automation, to serve the visitors.
Giving more details, Al-Sudais said the presidency provided nearly one million copies of the Holy Qur’an published by King Fahd Complex for Publication of the Holy Qur’an, distributed brochures and pamphlets in several languages, organized entry and exit of worshippers through 160 gates as well as walkways and entrances for people with special needs, in addition to more than 10,000 free carts for the needy.
The presidency also distributed more than 17,000 carpets inside the Grand Mosque and its courtyards, safety lockers for luggage and bags of pilgrims and visitors, provision of audio, air conditioning and ventilation systems, besides operation of 250 heat mitigating fans in courtyards of the mosque, he said.
Al-Sudais said the three phases of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Project had been exploited in raising the capacity of mataf, expansion of the northern yards of the Grand Mosque and operation of Ajiad Bridge in the southern part of mataf.
In the meantime, the Health Directorate in Makkah has operated two health centers inside the Grand Mosque in addition to Ajiad Emergency Hospital working on the round-the-clock basis to provide emergency services to visitors. Makkah Municipality also provided more than 12,000 sanitary workers equipped with 776 cleaning equipment.

US court orders Iran to pay $879 million to 1996 Khobar bombing survivors

Updated 10 July 2020

US court orders Iran to pay $879 million to 1996 Khobar bombing survivors

  • The court ruled that the Iranian government directed and provided material for the attack
  • The Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia were housing US forces when it was bombed in 1996

DUBAI: A United States federal court held Iran responsible for the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia where US forces were housed, and ordered Tehran to pay $879 million to survivors. 

The Khobar Towers was a housing complex in the eastern city of Khobar, near the Abdulaziz Air Base and Saudi Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran, that housed American servicemen working on Operation Southern Watch.

A truck bomb was detonated on June 25, 1996, near an eight-story building of the housing complex, which killed 19 US Air Force personnel and a Saudi national and wounded 498 others.

The court ruled that the Iranian government directed and provided material support to Hezbollah who detonated the 5,000-pound truck bomb, a Chicago law firm press release said. The attackers reportedly smuggled the explosives used in the attack from Lebanon. 

The lawsuit was brought under the terrorism exception of the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act by the 14 injured US airmen and 21 of their immediate family members.

The defendants in the case were listed as the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security.



“We will continue to seek to hold the Government of Iran accountable for this terrorist attack as long as is necessary,” said Adora Sauer, the lead attorney of MM LAW LLC.

US District Judge Beryl A. Howell found the defendants liable and awarded the plaintiffs $132 million for pain and suffering, as well as prejudgment interest, for a total compensatory damage award of $747 million and $132 million for punitive damages.

The court also said the plaintiffs are eligible for partial payments from the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, which compensates American victims of acts of international terrorism with funds obtained from fines and forfeitures levied against companies caught illegally laundering money for sanctioned countries and persons. 

The attorneys also intend to pursue enforcement of the judgments through litigation intended to seize Iranian assets.

“The physical and psychological toll on our families has been extremely high, but this judgment is welcome news. More than 20 years on, we want the world to remember the evil that Iran did at the Khobar Towers. Through the work of our attorneys, we intend to do just that,” said Glenn Christie, a retired Air Force staff sergeant crew chief who was severely injured in the bombing.

“The massive explosion took so much from their minds and bodies on the day of the attack in 1996 and every day and night since then. They can now live with that balance justice provides,” according to John Urquhart of the Urquhart Law Firm, who also represents the bombing victims.