Saudi police arrested a man suspected of trying to burn himself right next to the holy Kaaba in Mecca. He was stopped before he could do any harm.
Initial reports had claimed that the man was trying to set Kaaba on fire.
Securitymen in Makkah arrest a man, who was trying to burn the Holy Kaaba, by pouring gasoline on it. pic.twitter.com/z4FtYmPyjP
— The Gulf Today (@thegulftoday) February 7, 2017
The reports were denied by Saudi security agencies who said that the man was trying to set himself on fire.
It was when other pilgrims saw the man dousing himself in petrol that they raised an alarm and alerted the authorities present inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site.
The authorities and some pilgrims apprehended the man and took him away.
Security forces say that the man is a 40-year-old Saudi national. Major Sameh Al Salmi, the spokesman for the forces said, “He was held before he went on with his dramatic self-immolation act and his behaviour indicates that he is mentally ill. All the necessary measures will be taken.”
This is not the first time that such an incident has happened in the Grand Mosque.
In May 2016, Saudi police prevented a suicide bomber from reaching the Prophet’s mosque in Medina. That incident left four policemen and the attacker dead.
The biggest attack on Kaaba happened in November-December 1979 when forces against the House of Saud which rules Saudi Arabia laid a two-week-long siege to the Grand Mosque.