After last year's stampede that killed hundreds, Riyadh introduces new safety measures to monitor pilgrims' movements.
Saudi Arabia has announed plans to introduce electronic identification bracelets for all pilgrims heading to Mecca as part of a safety drive.
Containing personal and medical information, the e-bracelets will help authorities provide care and identify people, the official Saudi Press Agency SPA said on Thursday.
Water-resistant and connected to GPS, the devices will also instruct worshippers on timings of prayers and a multi-lingual help desk to guide especially non-Arabic speaking pilgrims around the various rituals of the annual Islamic event.
Every year, millions of Muslims travel to Mecca and Medina, Islam's holiest sites, which are under the custody of Saudi Arabia.
Last year, authorities say 769 pilgrims died in the stampede in the Mecca district of Mina when thousands of pilgrims converged on a walkway intersection.The majority of the victims were Iranian nationals.
To address the security issues, nearly a thousand new surveillance cameras have been installed at Mecca's Grand Mosque, monitoring pilgrim movements, Saudi newspapers have reported.
Taking part in the pilgrimage at least once in one's lifetime is a major obligation for all able-bodied Muslims of financial means, and between two and three million people participate in the six-day ritual every year.
The annual Muslim pilgrimage re-enacts the actions of the Prophet Muhammad in his "farewell pilgrimage" in 632 AD.
|< Prev||Next >|
Most Read News
- North Korea: 'US has now gone seriously mad'
- Ivanka faces tough questions over Trump in Berlin
- Afghanistan mourns after deadly Taliban attack on base
- Activists ramp up pressure on Lebanon's rape law
- Venezuela braces for new protest in wave of unrest
- China, Philippines spar over military visit to island
- Egypt's Abdel Fattah el-Sisi visits Saudi Arabia
- China, Iran, Saudi Arabia executed most people in 2016
- Sport, culture and entertainment: Driving tricky Saudi change
- Saudi Arabia to build entertainment city near Riyadh
- Saudi-Iranian rivalry fuels potential nuclear race
- Theresa May arrives in Saudi Arabia for trade talks
|Allen L. Jasson|