Pakistan hopeful as Umrah enters second phase at 75% capacity

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The second stage allows for prayers in the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah. (SPA)
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The second stage allows for prayers in the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah. (SPA)
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The second stage allows for prayers in the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah. (SPA)
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The second stage allows for prayers in the Grand Mosque and the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah. (SPA)
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Updated 18 October 2020

Pakistan hopeful as Umrah enters second phase at 75% capacity

  • Each group of pilgrims allocated only three hours to complete the rituals of Umrah 
  • Pakistan had topped the list of countries with maximum number of Umrah pilgrims last year

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has begun allowing its citizens and residents to perform Umrah rituals at 75 percent capacity as part of its second phase of gradual resumption of visits, state news agency SPA reported.
The second stage allows for prayers in the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah. People are also allowed to pray in the Prophet’s Sacred Chamber, the report said.
According to the plan drawn up by government agencies, the second phase of the resumption of Umrah will allow up to 15,000 Umrah performers and 40,000 worshipers or about 75 percent of the capacity in consideration of health protocols to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.
Each group of pilgrims is allocated only three hours to complete the rituals of Umrah, SPA reported.
Pakistan’s tour operators expect the Kingdom to implement a quota system whereby only a certain number of pilgrims would be allowed from each country.
In 2019, Pakistan had topped the list of countries with the maximum number of pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia for Umrah.


Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

Updated 26 October 2020

Houthis, Iran condemned over new drone attacks on KSA

  • One civilian injured by shrapnel after Saudi-led coalition intercepts four flying bombs launched from Yemen

JEDDAH: Houthi militias and their Iranian backers were condemned on Sunday after the Saudi-led coalition intercepted four explosive-laden drones in two attacks launched from Yemen targeting the south of the Kingdom.

Three of the drones were destroyed early on Saturday and a fourth on Sunday. Shrapnel that fell in Sarat Abidah governorate injured a civilian, and damaged five homes and three vehicles, said civil defense spokesman Capt. Mohammed Abdu Al-Sayed.

Iran was increasing its support to the Houthis to undermine efforts for peace, Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, the political analyst and international relations scholar, told Arab News.

“They want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.”

Iranians want the Houthis to sabotage all they can in Saudi Arabia, regardless of whether their target is a populated area, oil facilities or even a sacred place. This adds tension to the area, and that is what Iran is working on.

Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, political analyst and international relations scholar

Al-Shehri said the situation in Yemen would remain the same unless the legitimate government was returned to Yemen, Security Council Resolution 2216 was put into practice and the Houthi militia were removed.

“Without these things, the Yemen crisis will not end and the whole region will remain in tension.”

The Houthis did not differentiate between military sites and civilian locations, he said.

“Their objective is to damage all places they can reach in Saudi Arabia, and their latest attempts to attack a populated area are nothing new.

“They have also targeted airports and some Aramco oil facilities. If the Aramco attack had not been contained, the damage would have affected the whole Eastern region. They have also attempted to target Makkah, where pilgrims and worshippers were performing their rituals.

“They don’t care. If you look back at what the Revolutionary Guards did at the Grand Mosque, you will realize it is not strange that the Houthis are trying to destroy everything in Saudi Arabia. The strange thing is the silence of the world toward what is happening.”

 

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