Pilgrims hospitalised after torrential weather in Makkah

Seven pilgrims were injured when tents collapsed during torrential weather in Makkah on Wednesday, local media has reported.

The pilgrims, believed to all be foreigners due to perform the Haj, were taken to hospital.

Hundreds of Islamic visitors are camping in and around Makkah to perform the once in a lifetime ritual, while others are housed in hotels in the city.

Civil Defence spokesman Colonel Abdullah Al Harthi told Arab News heavy rain had been expected and troops were sent in to assist, as well as rescue teams and evacuating people.

Meanwhile, more than 1500 Saudis have been caught attempting to enter the holy city without a Haj permit.

Al Obaid said 179 expats holding invalid residency permits and 10 Saudis accused of transporting unauthorised pilgrims also were detained.

“Illegals will be sent back after taking their fingerprints,” the general was quoted as saying. “We also sent back 5800 vehicles that are not licensed to enter the holy sites.”

He said expatriates caught without Haj permits would be deported and would not be allowed to return for 10 years.

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