30,000 security men deployed at Grand Mosque to manage crowd during Ramadan

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«The crowd management will be done according to scientific vision supported by the accumulated field experiences,» Gen. Khaled Qarar Al-Harbe, commander of the Umrah security forces, said. — Courtesy photo

Saudi Gazette report

MAKKAH — As many as 30,000 security personnel will manage the crowd in the Grand Mosque during Ramadan, local daily Al-Madina reported on Tuesday quoting Gen. Khaled Qarar Al-Harbe, the commander of the Umrah security forces.

He said the Umrah security plan began on Monday after it was approved by Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Saud, who is also chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee.

"The crowd management will be done according to scientific vision supported by the accumulated field experiences," he said.

gen. Harbe said the plan consists of a number of aspects including the security factor, the traffic, the road control and the management of people in and outside the Grand Mosque.

He said the plan will benefit from the previous lessons and the scientific studies. "The security forces are thoroughly implementing the plan and the security situation is so far so good," he added.

The commander said the security forces will fan out in all places and locations to carry out the Umrah security plan.

"The security forces will make efforts to curb the negative phenomenon including theft and pick-pocketing" he said.

He said some unscrupulous elements will exploit the Umrah season to make money but the security forces will be after them and will not enable them to carry out their evil deeds in the Haram or the outside plazas through secret police who are highly qualified and well-trained," he added.

The commander said the secret police will be stationed all corners of the Haram, its upper stories, the Mataf area and the crowded spots to prevent stealing and catch the thieves.

"The crowded places will be carefully watched including the King Abdullah expansion project, King Abdul Aziz door, the toilets and otter areas," he explained.

He said the operations room and the command and control center were supplied with cameras and advanced technological equipment to help manage the masses.

Gen. Harbe said already some thieves were caught while trying to steal from the Umrah pilgrims in the Grand Mosque and would be interrogated and tried.

"The security forces will greatly reduce all the negative aspects including stealing and will make sure that the pilgrims are safe and secured," he said.

The commander said a number of women were employed and stationed in the places specified for women pilgrims inside the Haram, the outside plazas and the toilets.

He said the security forces will prevent prayer in the passages so as not to obstruct the pilgrims doing circumambulation (Tawaf) of the Kaba.

A number of the Umrah security commanders said modern technology would be used to control the roads and manage the masses in and around the Grand Mosque.

They said there would be six bus stops to transport the pilgrims to and from the central areas around the Grand Mosque.


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