908 Nigerian women held in Saudi

2012-09-26 21:06

Abuja - Nigerian officials say 908 Muslim women pilgrims travelling to Mecca face deportation from Saudi Arabia for travelling without male relatives.

A National Hajj Commission of Nigeria report submitted to Nigerian lawmakers on Wednesday says Saudi authorities are holding the Nigerian women at King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah.

An Associated Press reporter spoke to a woman pilgrim at a Nigerian airport who said she had been deported on Wednesday from the Saudi Arabian city of Medina, along with dozens of others.

A commission spokesperson had previously said the situation was resolved, but the report says Saudi authorities have "remained adamant".

It said the pilgrims had been held in poor conditions "with some needing urgent medical attention".

All able-bodied Muslims who can afford it are expected to perform the Hajj pilgrimage at least once.