Saudi security focus is questioned by critics after hajj disaster

Saudi security focus is questioned by critics after hajj disaster


The worst catastrophe in 25 years at the yearly hajj pilgrimage has left critics challenging the focus of the Saudi government to security, despite billions of dollars invested in enhancing states.

More than 700 individuals were killed by a stampede on Thursday within a stoning ritual attended by thousands of Muslim pilgrims from all over the world.

After an early September crane fall killed 109 people, including foreigners it was the 2nd disaster surrounding this year’s hajj.

Critics say they point to defects in the managing of the yearly event which brings about two million individuals, although they were the first serious events in nine years in the hajj.

Irfan al-Alawi, an outspoken critic of redevelopment in the sites that are sacred, says the issue lies in the government’s strategy of development, as well as a deficiency of crowd control.

“Yes, they’ve attempted to enhance facilities, but the precedence for health and safety consistently neglects”

As growth takes precedence, said Alawi, cofounder of the Makkah-based Islamic Heritage Research Foundation.

He says real connections are being wiped away by development jobs to the Prophet Mohammed.

“It is to the direction,” Alawi said from London when inquired the essential causes of such disasters.

The authorities were also attributed by Saudi Arabia’s Shiite opponent Iran.

“Now’s event reveals mismanagement and dearth of serious focus on the security of pilgrims. There’s absolutely no other explanation.

Pilgrims were whining before Thursday’s disaster at Mina near Makkah.

A Sudanese pilgrim in Mina during the period of the event said it had been the most badly organised of four successive hajj he’d performed.

He explained his Saudi company had expressed anxiety that “something was planning to occur”.58, Tunisian Abu Salim, said:

They do not have a hint

The interior ministry said it had deployed 100,000 authorities to procure and. crowds security and handle traffic the hajj.

They’re tasked with shielding around two million individuals in regions that were targeted.

But Alawi said those officers delegated deficiency language skills and never have been correctly coached.

“They do not have a hint how to participate with these folks,” he said.

A Saudi minister attributed the pilgrims themselves, saying they’d not followed the rules.

“Many pilgrims go without honoring the schedules” establish for the hajj, Health Minister Khaled al-Falih told El Ekhbariya television.

“If the pilgrims had followed directions, this kind of injury may have been prevented.”

Thursday’s disaster happened outside the five-storey Jamarat Bridge, that was erected in a price of more than $1 billion in the past decade and meant to enhance security.

Between 2006 and 1994 there were four earlier stampedes through the stoning rite.

“They needs to possess a system of crowd control of just how a lot of people can enter and the way many can leave,” Alawi said, indicating that world class rugby and soccer events are better controlled.

Among security measures and other infrastructure before few years is for transferring pilgrims and fireproof tents to adapt them, an elevated train.

In early September, when a crane working on the Grand Mosque in Makkah failed in severe winds, the injury was brushed off by pilgrims.

Analysts said the event greatly troubled Saudi King Salman, the official custodian of Islam’s most holy sites, and prompted astonishingly speedy actions contrary to the contractor, that has been suspended from authorities work that was new.