Makkah: Prayers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah held as usual and with total peace with over 02 million people from all across the world offering Taraweeh prayers Friday after stampede left 18 pilgrims with minor injuries, local media reported Saturday.
Police intensified security patrols on the streets of Makkah to ensure a smooth flow of traffic and avoid any further untoward incidents. Saudi Public Transport Company (SAPTCO) made sure that there were enough buses to carry the Umrah pilgrims and worshippers to and from the Grand Mosque.
At least 18 pilgrims were injured in a stampede near Islam's holiest site on Friday, Qa'ba, Saudi media reported, as the kingdom continues to review safety after a deadly crush during last year's hajj.
The incident happened on Friday night near the Grand Mosque in Makkah, the Al-Riyadh newspaper said, as Muslims gathered in large numbers to mark Lailatul Qadr - the Night of Power, one of the high points of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
According to scholarly opinion, the Night of Power, which commemorates the first revelation of the Holy Qur’an to the Prophet Muhammad (peace upon him) in Makkah, falls on one of the odd nights in the last 10 days of Ramadan, most probably the 27th night.
All the injured were treated at the scene and none required admission to hospital, the newspaper cited a health official as saying.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flock to Mecca to carry out the lesser umrah pilgrimage during Ramadan -- especially during its last 10 days.
They include the Night of Power, when the angel Gabriel is believed to have given the Prophet Mohammed the first verses of the Koran.
The incident comes as Saudi authorities continue to unveil new safety measures for this year's hajj in September. The pilgrims suffocated or were trampled to death when two massive crowds converged on a narrow street.
More than 2000 were reported dead in a stampede in last year's Hajj on the outskirts of Mecca, the deadliest such tragedy to strike the annual hajj pilgrimage in nearly a decade. According to figures from foreign officials, at least 2,297 pilgrims died. Saudi Arabia issued a death toll of 769.
Newspapers reported on Friday that, among new security measures, hajj pilgrims this year will have to wear an electronic safety bracelet to store their personal information, including address and medical records.
The hajj and umra pilgrimages bring millions of Muslims to the holy places in Saudi Arabia every year