Image Credit: Supplied

Manama: Saudi Arabia’s Haj Security Forces and other government entities tasked with Haj and pilgrim affairs have held their annual parade to “demonstrate their readiness to make the pilgrimage a safe and well-run event.”

The annual ceremony reviewed the preparedness of Haj security forces and various Haj departments participating in the implementation of the general plan for the Haj season this year.

The parade, held at the special emergency forces camp in Makkah, included members of the special forces, emergency forces, riot police and internal security who simulated responses to various hypothetical security incidents.

The joint security forces oversee security and stability during the Haj season that will bring together more than 2.5 million people from August 19 until August 24.

“The forces have begun their duties in Makkah, the holy places, Madinah and all the outlets and roads leading to the Haj areas,” Lieutenant General Said Bin Abdullah Al Qahtani, Supervisor of Public Security and Chairman of the Haj Security Committee, said at the ceremony, quoted by the Centre for International Communication (CIC).

“Their motto, of which they are proud, is that serving the pilgrims is a sacred task, and a great honour.”

Al Qahtani stressed the “readiness of the security forces to perform their duties to maintain the security and safety of the pilgrims and facilitate their performance of rituals in cooperation and continuous coordination with all ministries and relevant governmental departments and non-governmental institutions.”

Up to Tuesday evening, 1,570,054 people have arrived in the kingdom to perform Haj this year.

Most of them, 1,473,659, have arrived by air, while 80.569 were driven and 15,826 were transported by ships.