By Ibrahim Naffee
Jeddah: Seven pilgrims were injured when tents collapsed due to strong winds and heavy rain that fell on Mina and Arafat on Wednesday.
The injured were transferred to hospitals in the city. Col. Abdullah Al-Harthi, Civil Defense spokesman, clarified that they received a warning report from the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) indicating the possibility of heavy rains in Makkah Province and put in place a plan to deal with it. The plan involves taking the help of troops, installing advanced equipment, deploying rescue teams and evacuating people in unstable weather conditions.
Hajis sent back Security officers deployed at checkpoints along the roads leading to Makkah have sent back at least 1,587 Saudi pilgrims who tried to enter the holy city to perform Haj because they did not possess Haj permits.
Brig. Abdullah Al-Obaid, commander of the security forces in Baheeta, said his officers also arrested 179 expats holding invalid residency permits and 10 Saudis for transporting unauthorized pilgrims. “Illegals will be sent back after taking their fingerprints,” the general said. “We also sent back 5,800 vehicles that are not licensed to enter the holy sites,” Al-Obaid said. He said expatriates caught without Haj permits would be deported and would not be allowed to return back for 10 years