Saudi tightens security for Haj

Riyadh, Jan 18 (IANS) Saudi Arabia will cooperate with the opposition in Syria to prevent the entry of militants as pilgrims during upcoming Haj, a daily reported on Wednesday.

Saudi Arabia allocated a quota of 15,000 pilgrims for the upcoming season and it will be ensured that all of them are civilians who will come for the religious rituals, reports Xinhua news agency.

Abdul Ilah Fahad, General Secretary of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, told Okaz newspaper during a visit to Jeddah that the names of Syrian pilgrims were checked carefully and their fingerprints were taken before sending the pre-final list to Saudi Arabia for approval.

Throughout the Haj season, Saudi Arabia implements tight security to ensure the safety of pilgrims.

The last Haj season attracted more than 1.8 million pilgrims while the number is expected to double this year because Saudi Arabia brought back the old quotas for countries after the end of expansion of the grand mosque in Mecca.

–IANS

soni/mr

Top