Saudi Arabia warns piligrims to keep politics out of Hajj
Saudi Arabia issued a warning to Muslim pilgrims Wednesday to not use next week's hajj for "political purposes," according to AFP.
The Gulf country's Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef urged "all pilgrims to perform this ritual away from any action that could put their safety at risk" and noted that Saudi Arabia "was the scene of terrorism...in the early 2000s," in reference to the 2003 and 2006 al-Qaeda attacks in the Kingdom.
According to the AFP article, some reports indicate that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is urging pilgrims to demonstrate their support for the ousted Egyptian president Morsi during Hajj. The Kingdom annually deals with Iranian pilgrims' protests, but fatal clashes in 1987 between the Saudi police and the protestors has moved these protests into tents to limit future violence.
95,000 security force personnel, as well as defense ministry, national guard and intelligence troops will be on duty during the annual Eid ritual. An additional 40,000 special force authorities have been delegated to secure the Hajj, according to the Interior Minister.
Two million pilgrims are expected in the kingdom which start on Sunday and ends on October 18th.
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