Saudi Arabia Strongly Condemns New Zealand Mosque Attacks

A victim taken to hospital following the mosque shooting in Christchurch. AFP
A victim taken to hospital following the mosque shooting in Christchurch. AFP
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Saudi Arabia Strongly Condemns New Zealand Mosque Attacks

A victim taken to hospital following the mosque shooting in Christchurch. AFP
A victim taken to hospital following the mosque shooting in Christchurch. AFP

The Saudi Foreign Ministry “strongly condemned” on Friday mosque attacks in New Zealand that left scores of people dead and wounded.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia denounces all types of terrorism,” a ministry statement said, citing an official source.

The source reiterated the importance of respecting religions, and extended condolences to the families of victims and the government and people of New Zealand.

The statement also wished the wounded a speedy recovery.

The Saudi Embassy in New Zealand said two Saudi citizens were wounded in the mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch.

Political and Islamic leaders in the Arab world offered their sympathies.

Among those quickly condemning the attack was Anwar Gargash, the UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs.

He tweeted "heartfelt condolences" to New Zealand.

Gargash wrote: "Our collective work against violence & hate must continue with renewed vigor. Our thoughts & prayers are with the families of the victims."

Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, tweeted his condolences, noting that "on a day of peace like Friday and at a place of worship like the mosque, we witnessed the most heinous crime of religious hatred."

In a statement, Egypt’s Al-Azhar University said the attacks had "violated the sanctity of the houses of God".

"We warn the attack is a dangerous indicator of the dire consequences of escalating hate speech, xenophobia, and the spread of Islamophobia."

More had to be done to promote the co-existence of different religions and cultures, the university said.

The Palestinian chief peace negotiator, Saeb Erekat, called the attack a “consequence of racist ideologies that continue trying to promote religious wars”.

Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman also condemned the attack.

The secretary-general of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Youssef al-Othaimeen, said in a statement the attack "served as a further warning on the obvious dangers of hate, intolerance, and Islamophobia."

Al-Othaimeen called on New Zealand "to provide more protection to the Muslim communities living in the country."

He also offered his condolences for those affected by the mass shooting.

The UN said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "is shocked and appalled at the terrorist attack" and is urging people everywhere to work better together "counter Islamophobia and eliminate intolerance and violent extremism."

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters Friday that the UN chief stressed "the sanctity of mosques and all places of worship."

Pakistan's foreign ministry says four Pakistanis were wounded in the mass shootings.

Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted that five other Pakistani citizens are missing after Friday's attacks.

Separately, the ministry said Pakistan views the attacks as an "assault on the values of freedom of conscience and association common to all mankind."

It asked New Zealand to take immediate action to bring the perpetrators to justice and ensure the safety of the Muslim community.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at least three Turkish citizens were injured in the attacks and that he has spoken to one of them.

Addressing an election rally on Friday, Erdogan described a suspect in the attacks as "impertinent, immoral, vile and scum" and said he had chosen innocent worshippers as an easy target.



Saudi Arabia: Unauthorized Hajj Pilgrims Die from Heat Stress after Walking in Scorching Heat 

The authorities exerted great efforts to raise awareness about heat stress and emphasize the need to follow preventive measures. (SPA)
The authorities exerted great efforts to raise awareness about heat stress and emphasize the need to follow preventive measures. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabia: Unauthorized Hajj Pilgrims Die from Heat Stress after Walking in Scorching Heat 

The authorities exerted great efforts to raise awareness about heat stress and emphasize the need to follow preventive measures. (SPA)
The authorities exerted great efforts to raise awareness about heat stress and emphasize the need to follow preventive measures. (SPA)

Saudi Arabia stressed on Sunday that it treated several cases of heat stress during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage. Some pilgrims are still receiving care.

A total of 1,301 fatalities from heat stress were reported, with 83 percent of the cases being among pilgrims without permits, announced Minister of Health Fahd Al-Jalajel in televised remarks.

The unauthorized pilgrims walked long distances under the scorching sun, without shelter or comfort, and many among them were elderly and suffering from chronic illnesses, he explained.

Over 1.8 million pilgrims performed the Hajj with complete ease and safety, amid an integrated advanced system of services, he added.

Al-Jalajel highlighted the strenuous efforts carried out by the concerned authorities to ensure that the pilgrims, regardless of their race or nationality, have a smooth journey, which led to the success of the pilgrimage in spite the massive numbers that were present and the various challenges posed by the souring temperatures.

The authorities exerted great efforts to raise awareness about heat stress and emphasize the need to follow preventive measures, he went on to say.

All relatives of the deceased have been contacted and the deceased have been identified – a process which took some time because they did not carry the necessary identification, the minister remarked. They have been buried in the holy city of Makkah and their death certificates have been issued.

Moreover, Al-Jalajel said no diseases or epidemics were reported at the Hajj. The health system provided over 465,000 specialized treatment services, including 141,000 to individuals who did not obtain official authorization to perform the Hajj, he revealed, stressing that the leadership prioritizes human health above all else.

The services offered included open-heart surgeries, cardiac catheterization, dialysis, and emergency care.