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Iran Diplomat Entered Saudi Arabia Under Fake ID: Hajj Violators Caught Trying To Enter Mashair In Female Clothing

28 September 2015

Official records show that the name of the former Iranian ambassador to Beirut Ghazanfar Abadi does not appear among this year's pilgrims, sources have told Al Arabiya News.

If his presence during the pilgrimage is confirmed, that would mean he entered the Kingdom by ''unknown ways,'' possibly registering with a different name and description. He is feared to have died in the Mina stampede.

Abadi, who worked as the country's ambassador in Beirut until last year, has been declared missing, Iran's state TV said. An Iranian broadcast said that two state TV reporters and a prominent political analyst were also missing after the stampede, which killed at least 769.

Hajj Violators Caught Trying To Enter Mashair In Female Clothing

Meanwhile Commander of Haj forces in the Makkah police, Maj. Gen. Abdulaziz bin Othman Al-Souli announced the capture of violators at checkpoints who were trying to enter Makkah and the Holy Mashair in female clothing.

He confirmed to local media that around 123,950 people were turned back for not having Haj permits along with more than 36,000 vehicles that were not authorized to enter the Mashair, in addition to 1,340 who transported violators. He said all those captured were referred to relevant authorities and confirmed that five fake Haj offices have been caught and more than 200 people who don't have Haj permits have been fingerprinted.

He said that this year's plan focused on moving pilgrims from one holy site to the next easily and smoothly and in record time. The plan was completed early. Work on this plan started at the end of the last Haj season and the positive side has been developed and previous negative points were avoided.

He added that some people revert to new cheating methods to get to the Mashair; some of them tried to sneak in wearing female clothes, but many attempts have been frustrated, thanks to the vigilance of security forces.

Al-Souli underlined that 58 fake Haj offices were monitored this year as well as the people behind them. Officials will not allow any attempt to carry on such activities and they will be on the look out for these illegal activities

Crush Cause: 300 Iranians Violated Rule

As the probe into the stampede in Mina continues, an Iranian official has confirmed that a group of 300 Iranian pilgrims coming from the opposite direction caused the crush, according to media reports quoting Iranian sources.

Quoting the Iranian official, Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News, said: ''Violations began when a group of 300 Iranian pilgrims started moving from Muzdalifa straight to Jamarat, instead of first going to their camps as is generally practiced by Haj pilgrims, to wait for the time of movement of their group. Then they moved in the opposite direction on Street 203 where the painful incident took place.''

As per the guidelines, this group did not wait for the stone-throwing ritual in Jamarat Al-Aqba in their camp until the fixed time. This group decided to return from the opposite direction which also coincided with the movement of other groups as per their set schedules for pelting pebbles, resulting in the tragedy, said the Sabq.org website citing Iranian sources.

They said the group of Iranian pilgrims waited for some time and did not move in the opposite direction. This increased pressure and pushed the pilgrims to exit on the road, which is no wider than 20 meters.

The Asharq Al-Awsat report said that there were cameras in Jamarat, which revealed the details of the incident and confirmed the Iranian group's wrong move. That actually was time for Turkish pilgrims to come out.

The sources said there is a set plan for Haj, which is implemented thoroughly with the help of government agencies and the Interior Ministry. But there are some groups who do not abide by this. This is what happened in the case of the 300 Iranian pilgrims who did not abide by their set schedule and came out in morning hours which was time given to other nationalities. 



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