A video of a car ramming into the outer door of the Grand Mosque in Makkah went viral on social media on Friday night. The video shows the car driver plowed through the plastic barricades placed in the outer courtyard of the mosque, however, the incident caused no casualties, reported the Saudi newspaper Okaz.
Other videos posted on social media showed several people pushed the vehicle away from the Gate 89 of the Grand Mosque. It is said that driver, a Saudi citizen has been arrested and referred to the public prosecutor for questioning. The publication reported that the driver was in an abnormal condition, and the incident happened due to drifting at high speed at the nearby southern square.
A driver rammed his car into Door 89 of the Grand Mosque in Mecca (Masjid al-Haram) at 22:25pm Saudi time.
The driver was arrested and based on video footage posted on social media, local media reports, there were no casualties. https://t.co/CzNKWq5OO5
— Faisal | فيصل (@faisaledroos) October 30, 2020
The state-run channel, Saudi Quran, continued the live broadcast of the mosque during and after the incident.
The Grand Mosque of Makkah also known as Masjid-al-Haram is a prime religious site in Islam. The mosque surrounds the Kaabah, a cubic structure that Muslims circumambulate during the pilgrimage.
Read more: Makkah reopens for limited Umrah pilgrimage
The spokesman of the for the Makkah region governorate, Sultan al-Dosari said that at 10.30 pm local time, the security authorities in Makkah responded to the accident where the car hit at one of the main entrances of the Grand mosque.
“The car swerved while moving at a high speed on one of the roads surrounding the southern courtyard of the Grand Mosque. Thankfully, no one was injured,” according to SPA.
Earlier, this month, Saudi authorities partially resumed the year-round Umrah pilgrimage with extensive health precautions adopted after a seven-month coronavirus hiatus.
Thousands of worshippers entered the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah in batches to perform the ritual of circling the sacred Kaaba, a cubic structure towards which Muslims around the world pray.
متحدث #إمارة_مكة سلطان الدوسري :
الجهات الأمنية بمكة تُباشر حادثة ارتطام مركبة بأحد أبواب #المسجد_الحرام نتيجة انحرافها أثناء سيرها بسرعة عالية بأحد الطرق المحيطة بالساحة الجنوبية اللحرم، ولم يصب أي شخص بأذى
..المقبوض عليه مواطن بحالة غير طبيعية ، وجارٍ إحالته للنيابة العامة pic.twitter.com/wOAPnq2YPf
— إمارة منطقة مكة المكرمة (@makkahregion) October 30, 2020
“It’s a special feeling that the holy site has opened its doors again,” said Egyptian pilgrim Mohammed Raafat. “We lived through a sad nightmare of not seeing the holy site for months,” he added.
The Umrah, the pilgrimage that can be undertaken at any time, usually attracts millions of Muslims from across the globe each year, but it was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is being revived in three phases, with Saudi Hajj Minister Mohammad Benten saying last week that 6,000 pilgrims per day would be allowed in the first stage to perform the Umrah “meticulously and within a specified period of time”.
GVS News Desk