The Saudi authorities on Monday evening arrested a citizen who was trying to set
himself on fire close to the Holy Kaaba in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
A video circulated on social media shows the security men arresting a person who was getting ready to pour material that would have lit him.
It was when other pilgrims saw the man dousing himself in petrol that they raised an alarm and alerted the authorities present inside the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam’s holiest site.
The security officers and a few worshipers and pilgrims came and stood around the man, before he was taken by the officers outside.
The media spokesman for the security force of the Grand Mosque, Sameh Al-Silmi said the man who appeared to be in his 40’s was arrested on Monday evening after he poured petrol on his clothes and tried to set himself on fire.
“He was held before he went on with his dramatic self-immolation act and his behaviour indicates that he is mentally ill. All the necessary measures will be taken,” the spokesman said, quoted by Saudi news site Sabq.
Major Sameh denied the rumors circulating about the man’s desire to burn the Kaaba, and emphasized that that man was only trying to harm himself.
Previous reports quoted a Saudi man saying that he spotted a man who was spilling gas on the Kaaba.
“As I was circling the Kaaba at around 11:40pm on Monday, I saw a man pouring gasoline from a bottle on Kaaba and uttering takfiri expressions (pronouncing that someone or something is un-Islamic),” Ghazi Darweesh said.
Kaaba is central for all Muslims who are required to look its direction when they perform their prayers five times a day, and during the haj or Umrah, pilgrims walk counterclockwise around it seven times.
Published on 7 February 2017