Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Hajj Security Forces Commander Confirms Protection of Pilgrims

Hajj Security Forces Commander Confirms Protection of Pilgrims

Friday, 31 July, 2020 - 09:00

Saudi Arabia has invested its capabilities to serve Hajj pilgrims performing their rituals under exceptional circumstances the world was exposed to as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Relevant authorities have put all strategic plans and controls that are compatible with this stage to ensure the safety and security of pilgrims in the first place.

Major General Zayed Al-Twayan, who is also commander of Hajj security forces, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Hajj pilgrimage this year comes at a time the world suffers from the coronavirus pandemic which is why only a limited number of pilgrims will be allowed to perform Hajj this year.

Tawyan stressed that only Hajj pilgrims with permits will be allowed to enter the sacred sites in Makkah.

About pilgrims leaving sacred sites, Tawyan said that specialized authorities would assess the situation and based on it grant the pilgrim the right to leave and re-enter the sacred sites.

“Security taskforces are here to serve,” he pointed out, underlining that security will not allow pilgrims without permits from entering the holy sites.

"We have cameras based on artificial intelligence, and the (Midan) application has been launched that helps raise the level of security personnel performance and develop their capabilities and professionalism in their work, in addition to introducing a number of modern technologies and applications on monitoring, follow-up and transfer cameras linked to the command and control center," Tawyan said about incorporating technology with Hajj security this year.

Tawyan added that observing the holy places and preventing unauthorized entry to them are among the main pillars of the pilgrimage plan, which are conducted through advanced technical means, explaining that the security men are primarily concerned with preserving the safety of pilgrims.

Security forces have cordoned off sacred sites in Makkah and reinforced its presence there. Mobile security checkpoints roam all entrances to the sacred sites and monitor all roads with the intention of protecting pilgrims and preventing unauthorized entry.

Editor Picks