Saudi minister: Problems in other countries won't be played out in Mecca

December 16, 2007 13:06

Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry has taken security precautions for this year's hajj pilgrimage and will not allow problems in other countries to be played out in Islam's most holy city. This year's hajj, which officially begins Sunday, takes place amid increasing worries across the Islamic world - over the bloodshed in Iraq and Afghanistan and recent terror attacks by al-Qaida-linked groups including last week's twin suicide bombings in Algeria that killed at least 37 people. Tensions also have increased between the two main sects of Islam, Sunnis and Shiites, who come together in the five days of hajj rituals centered around Mecca, birthplace of Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz said the kingdom is capable of maintaining security and preventing any attempt to threaten the safety of the pilgrims.

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