Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz (photo), Saudi Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Supreme Hajj Committee, has conveyed greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense, to all participants in implementing Hajj (Pilgrimage) security plans 1439H (2018).
During his meeting with Directors of the security sectors and Commanders of the Hajj security forces in Mina, Prince Abdulaziz lauded great efforts and performance in serving pilgrims.
The Saudi authorities have deployed more than 130,000 security forces and medics as well as modern technology including surveillance drones to maintain order.
Eid al-Adha, or feast of the sacrifice, started on Tuesday when pilgrims begin three days of casting stones at walls in a symbolic renunciation of the devil.
Over two million Muslim pilgrims gathered at Mount Arafat in Saudi Arabia as the annual Haj pilgrimage reached its climax.
Convoys of pilgrims ascended the Holy Arafat in an atmosphere of faith and tranquility, praying to the Almighty for forgiveness, mercy and repentance, said a Saudi Press Agency (SPA) report.
Pilgrims clad in white robes signifying a state of purity spent the night in an encampment around the hill.
Worshippers from around the world began arriving in the kingdom during the last weeks for the five-day ritual - a once-in-a-lifetime religious duty for every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.
The total number of pilgrims from inside and outside of Saudi Arabia arriving in Makkah until 5 am Tuesday reached 2,368,873, according to the General Authority for Statistics.
Alongside the roads leading to the Holy Arafat, traffic police being supported by security men and scouts exerted best efforts to ensure smooth movement of pilgrims, said SPA.
The authorities have been preparing for months to ensure pilgrims’ safety, Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah told Reuters, with more than 30,000 health workers operating 25 hospitals and offering free medical services, including complex procedures like open heart surgery.