Riyadh: Saudi police have detained more than 17,000 people for attempting to perform the Hajj without the permission of the Saudi authorities, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reports.
Last week, over 2 million people performed the Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims. This year marked the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that the Saudi authorities allowed such a large number of people to perform the Hajj.
SPA reported on Sunday that the Saudi security forces detained 17,615 people lacking the necessary legal clearance for the Hajj. Of these, 9,509 people violated the rules of residence, work and border security.
Another 33 people were arrested for transporting pilgrims to Hajj sites without permits, SPA said.