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King Salman: Hands of Terror that Sought to Harm Holy Cities were Eradicated | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz holds an annual reception for the heads of state and Islamic dignitaries who performed Hajj rituals. (SPA)

Mina – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz said on Saturday the kingdom had made notable progress in eradicating terrorism aimed at attacking its holy sites, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Saudi Arabia, which guards Islam’s holiest sites and organizes the annual Hajj, has been hit by bombings in recent years and uncovered plots to carry out attacks in the holy city of Makkah.

“The limbs of terrorism have sought to harm the holy cities, paying no attention to their sanctity,” SPA quoted King Salman while receiving foreign dignitaries attending the Hajj pilgrimage.

A reception was held in their honor in Makkah, where more than 2 million pilgrims are performing Hajj.

“But the kingdom, by the grace of God and in cooperation with its sisters and friends, has made big successes in eradicating terrorism and has worked decisively and with determination to dry its sources,” continued King Salman without elaborating.

He also said Saudi Arabia has devoted all its power and human resources to ensure the safety of pilgrims, who come from all over the world to perform the five-day ritual, a religious duty to be undertaken once in a lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford the journey.

“We are determined, with God’s permission, to continue to provide the highest level of services for the two holy mosques … to ensure the safety of those who seek the sacred house of God,” he said.

Saudi air defense forces had in the past intercepted ballistic missiles launched from Yemen that targeted Makkah.

Security forces have also arrested dozens of suspects linked to a suicide bomb attack in the holy city of Madinah during the holy fasting month of Ramadan last year.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represents the heart of the Muslim world. Therefore, it feels the pains of Muslims everywhere, strives to achieve unity, cooperation and solidarity in our Muslim world, and reach security and peace in the whole world,” King Salman said.

On Friday, during a reception for Gulf and Saudi officials on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, the king paid tribute to members of security forces, who lost their lives protecting the Kingdom.

He also congratulated Hajj pilgrims and cited security forces and all agencies concerned for a job well done in ensuring a smooth pilgrimage.