Saudi: Over 930 people fined for violating ban on holy sites

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Saudi authorities have caught a total of 936 people for violating a ban on entering holy sites without permits as the country enforces stringent measures during this year’s Haj that began on Wednesday.

The violators have been exposed since the ban took effect on July 19 until Wednesday, according to a security official.

“They have violated instructions on entering the holy sites. Legal procedures are being taken against them,” a spokesman for the Haj security force command said, according to the Saudi news agency SPA.

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On July 19, Saudi Arabia started prohibiting people without permits from entering the holy places in Mecca, Muzdalifah, Arafat and Mina under a strict security plan.

The restriction remains in place until the end of Sunday to ensure a safe scaled-down Haj held amid COVID-19 fears.

Violations are punishable by a fine of SR10,000 that will be doubled in case of repetition.

SPA quoted the spokesman as urging Saudis and expatriate residents to abide by the Haj-related instructions. “Security men are imposing a tight lockdown on holy places to enforce instructions and catch violators,” he added.

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