Members of Saudi security forces participate in a parade in preparation for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, in Mecca on June 10, 2024. Image Credit: REUTERS

Cairo: Saudi security forces staged an impressive parade on Monday evening in Mecca, showcasing their full preparedness to protect around 2 million pilgrims attending this week’s annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The parade featured a series of drills, highlighting the forces’ exceptional skills and readiness to handle various scenarios.

Advanced vehicles and security aviation, which will be used this year to monitor the gathering of faithful in and around Mecca, were also displayed during the parade.

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Notably, Saudi female soldiers from various security sectors participated in the event, which was attended by Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud.
Lt. Col. Khalid Al Kirdis, spokesman for the Hajj security forces, emphasised their readiness to “deter” any attempt to disrupt the security of the Hajj and the safety of pilgrims.

As the Hajj approaches, Saudi Arabia has implemented stringent measures to ensure the security of the pilgrims, with several officials underlining that the security of the Hajj is a “red line” that cannot be crossed, and political slogans are strictly prohibited during the religious gathering.

Additionally, Saudi authorities have intensified efforts to crack down on irregular pilgrims, announcing the capture of thousands of foreign visitors attempting to perform the Hajj without official permits.

Image Credit: Reuters

They have reiterated that a visit visa does not grant permission to perform the Hajj and have warned against fraudulent Hajj tour operators.

Security officials reported apprehending 140 fake Hajj campaigns and 64 transporters who violated Hajj regulations earlier this week. Lt. Gen. Mohammed Al Bassami, Chief of Public Security and head of the Hajj Security Committee, disclosed that 97,664 unauthorized vehicles and 171,587 non-residents of Mecca have been turned away and denied access to the city.