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Wed 30 Aug 2017 10:15 AM

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400,000 pilgrims without hajj permits denied entry

Saudi Civil Defence said it increased the number of agencies implementing its emergency plan this year

400,000 pilgrims without hajj permits denied entry
Muslim pilgrims arrive at Jeddah airport on August 26, 2017, prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Makkah. (KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

Over 400,000 pilgrims without a hajj permit have been denied entry to Makkah, with 1,841 expats detained and referred to the public prosecution, Saudi public security said.

A total of 3,296 vehicles carrying the expats were also seized at the entry points, according to the Saudi Gazette.

However, the ministry of interior said more than 50 percent of expat pilgrims have completed their Madinah visit.

It said there are currently over two million pilgrims attending Haj, of which 1.7m are expats and 200,000 are Saudi nationals.

The Ministry of Health also said it has taken measures to confirm all pilgrims who pass the kingdom’s borders are free from contagious diseases

Furthermore, it has prepared 25 hospitals and 155 health centres in Makkah and Madinah, as well as over 100 ambulances to serve pilgrims, with over 285 rooms dedicated for cases of sunstrokes and heat exhaustion.

Saudi Civil Defence said it had also increased the number of agencies implementing its emergency plan from 19 to 32 this year.