A member of Saudi security forces monitors screens connected to cameras set up at places around the holy city of Makkah, on the second day of Eid Al Adha, yesterday.
MINA: Throngs of pilgrims took part in the symbolic stoning of the devil ritual for a second day yesterday in Mina Valley, as the Haj neared its end.
Pilgrims said the stoning ritual had proved easier to perform this year due to the lower numbers.
The head of the hi-tech Command and Control Centre for Hajj Security, Major General Abdullah Al Zahrani, said two factors had played a role. “The reduction in the number of pilgrims and the correct implementation of the security plan have contributed to the better organisation of this year’s Haj,” he said.
The centre has installed more than 5,000 cameras to monitor all the holy sites, including 1,200 at the Grand Mosque. The centre in Mina has a large number of television screens that receive live videos round the clock from the holy sites.
The faithful began the stoning rituals on Tuesday. Yesterday, they threw seven pebbles at each of the three pillars in a ritual they will repeat over the next two days.
Authorities announced special measures to be implemented today around the Grand Mosque, where many of the pilgrims will have their final circumambulation (Tawaf) around the Holy Kaaba and start leaving for their home countries. The Haj comes to an end officially tomorrow. AFP