From the news desk

60 percent pilgrims already in Mina

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About 60 percent of pilgrims were transported to Mina on Monday evening according to the Haj Ministry’s grouping plan. The remaining 40 percent will be taken to the Tent City on Tuesday.

Maj. Gen. Muhammad Al-Qarni, adviser to the Haj minister for operations and emergencies, who is also head of the pilgrims’ grouping unit, said the grouping of the Guests of God has been going on since their arrival in the Kingdom.

He said this was the fourth of the 12-phase grouping process. Three grouping processes have already been completed.

“During the first grouping, pilgrims were sent to Makkah and Madinah after their arrival in the Kingdom. In the second, a total of 94,653 pilgrims were transported from Makkah to Madinah to pray at the Prophet’s Mosque. In the third grouping, pilgrims were transported from Madinah to Makkah,” he said.

Qarni said all pilgrims have now assembled in Makkah ready to travel to Mina where they will stay the night and proceed on Wednesday to Arafat for Standing representing the Haj climax.

He explained that the grouping of pilgrims is done electronically through the ministry’s e-portal.

There are 160,000 fire-proof tents to accommodate pilgrims in Mina. Fire safety measures are in place. An integrated network of water pipes run throughout the Mina valley. The total length of these pipes is 100 kilometers. The pipes have diameters ranging from 250 millimeters to 700 millimeters and have 740 to 800 valve nozzles.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Solaiman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Yahya, director general of the department of passports (Jawazat), said a total 1,374,206 foreign pilgrims have arrived for Haj this year.

He said 1,325,189 pilgrims have arrived by air, 36,094 by land and 12,923 by sea.

Al-Yahya asked pilgrims to be committed to the Kingdom’s rules and regulations during their entire stay in the country and said a total of 4,400 passport officers and privates were rendering services to the pilgrims around the clock.

Ten people were caught transporting illegal pilgrims and were together fined an amount of SR240,000 and each one of them imprisoned for 35 days, Al-Yahya said, adding that the three cars they were using were confiscated. SAUDI GAZETTE

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