26,000-strong force to ensure hassle-free Haj

Wednesday 3 October 2012

The Civil Defense Department announced yesterday that it would deploy around 26,000 men, 6,900 equipment and devices and 19 helicopters in Makkah and other holy sites during this Haj season to ensure the safety and security of pilgrims.

Lt. Gen. Saad Al-Tuwaijri, director general of the Civil Defense, said Interior Minister Prince Ahmed, chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee, has approved the department’s Haj plan aimed at protecting the guests of God from accidents and catastrophes.

“The plan includes precautionary measures against 13 possible dangers during the Haj season,” Al-Tuwaijri said, adding that the plan was prepared based on studies conducted during the past Haj seasons.

He said the department would have more than 450 field units and teams in Makkah and other holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifa to deal with dangers and accidents quickly, adding that they have been provided with equipment to fight fire and rescue people.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has resumed Haj flights to Saudi Arabia, ending a diplomatic row over female pilgrims who arrived unaccompanied by mehrams, the country’s Haj commission said yesterday.

“Since the resumption of flights … on Sunday a total of 8 flights have been operated conveying 3,786 pilgrims to the holy land,” the Haj Commission of Nigeria said in a statement.

“This success was recorded largely as a result of the directive given to state pilgrims’ welfare boards, agencies, to ensure that only female pilgrims that have the appropriate mehrams are boarded.”


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