A Saudi man driving his car at high speed, crashed into the outer walls of Mecca’s Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, authorities said on Saturday, October 31.
Guards reportedly chased the driver as he rammed through two barriers before hitting one of the southern entrances of the mosque late Friday, officials in the holy city said.
Saudi Arabia had earlier in October, opened the Grand Mosque for prayers for the first time since it was shut due to coronavirus.
Authorities in the holy city upon reopening the Mosque, expanded the umrah pilgrimage to accommodate 15,000 worshippers from within the kingdom as it relaxed coronavirus measures.
Umrah — a Muslim pilgrimage that can be undertaken at any time — had been suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The limit on umrah will be raised to 20,000 from Sunday, when authorities will allow pilgrims from abroad.
Saudi Arabia hosted the annual hajj pilgrimage in late July, on the smallest scale in modern history.