Saudi arrests 2,200 foreign workers during Ramadan

The arrests are in contrast to the 1000 prisoners released from jails during the holy month

Saudi security officers conducting raids during Ramadan have arrested nearly 2,200 foreigners accused of being in the kingdom illegally.

The arrests follow raids on properties in Al Bahah province, where more than 1,000 people were rounded up, Madinah, where 884 were taken into custody, and Hail, where 305 alleged illegals were found.

Hail police spokesman Colonel Abdul Aziz Al Zenaidi said the foreigners would be handed over to police for punitive action.

Last year, more than 1 million people left the kingdom under an amnesty to reduce the number of foreign workers, particularly those working illegally.

However, it is unusual for raids to be carried out during Ramadan, the Islamic holy month.

Since Ramadan has started, King Abdullah has pardoned more than 1,000 prisoners, including 30 foreigners who have converted to Islam. Most of them were in jail for petty crimes or owing debts.

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