MAKKAH — Director of Public Security Lt. Gen. Muhammad Al-Bassami announced on Tuesday that the plans of the Umrah security forces have achieved their goals during the holy month of Ramadan, saying that the best evidence for this was the absence of any incidents of crowding at the Grand Mosque.

Addressing the second press conference of the Commanders of the Umrah Security Forces for the year 1444 at the Unified Operations Center (911) in Makkah on Tuesday evening, Al-Bassami said that the frontal parts of the first floor and the roof of the Grand Mosque were allocated for tawaf (circumambulation around the Holy Kaaba) in the wake of the huge increase in the number of Umrah pilgrims during the holy month, which marks the peak annual Umrah season.

He said that throughout the month of Ramadan, the gates of the Grand Mosque did not witness any crowds except during the obligatory prayer times, and then quickly return to their normal levels. He stressed the readiness of the security forces to deal with the anticipated crowds of worshipers.

Al-Bassami pointed out that the plans to confront negative phenomena are being carried out with high precision and efficiency. A total of 1,704 beggars have been arrested. About 47 fake Umrah campaigns were also busted, he said while emphasizing that there is foolproof security cordon on all entry points to the holy city.

Addressing the press conference, Acting Director General of Civil Defense Maj. Gen. Mahmoud Al-Faraj confirmed that extensive awareness messages were delivered in matters of safety requirements, and these messages will be intensified during the rest of the holy month. He also stressed the importance of the role played by volunteers for the success of civil defense plans.

Deputy Director General of Passports Maj. Gen. Saleh Al-Murabba said that elaborate arrangements are in place in all sea, air and land ports, to ensure that the procedures of the Umrah pilgrims are completed at a fast pace upon their arrival. “No reports had been received about the disruption in the flow of the arrival of pilgrims at any of the ports,” he added.

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