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Saudi man detained after car crashes into Mecca's Grand Mosque

Published October 31,2020

A Saudi man was arrested after a car he was driving crashed into the Grand Mosque, Islam's holiest site, the official Saudi news agency SPA reported on Saturday.

The speeding car drifted from a road near the mosque in Mecca late on Friday and rammed into one door of the sprawling site, a local security official said. No one was hurt.

The suspected driver was found to be in an "abnormal condition," the official added without elaborating.

Online footage purportedly showed a speeding car crashing through barriers set up outside the mosque before it stopped at the door.

The Grand Mosque houses the cube-shaped Kaaba, a building considered to be the most sacred site in Islam, the one at which Muslims around the world direct their daily prayers.

The mosque was reopened earlier this month for limited Umrah pilgrimage for Muslims inside Saudi Arabia.

Muslims abroad will be allowed to start heading to the kingdom for the Umrah, or minor pilgrimage, starting on Sunday.

In March, Saudi Arabia halted halted the Umrah and religious trips as part of measures it imposed to curb the new coronavirus pandemic.

In July, the monarchy allowed a limited number of Muslim residents to perform the annual main Hajj pilgrimage.