Saudi attempts self-immolation at Mecca

(iStock)
(iStock)

Mecca - Saudi police arrested an apparently "mentally disturbed" man who tried to set himself on fire at Islam's holiest site, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, a police spokesperson said on Tuesday.

The man, in his 40s and a Saudi citizen, "poured petrol on himself and tried to set it alight," said Grand Mosque police spokesperson Major Sameh al-Salami.

"His behaviour gives the impression that he is mentally disturbed."

The incident happened right next to the Kaaba, the cubic stone structure at the heart of the mosque towards which Muslims pray.

Pilgrims and police escorted the man away before he could light the petrol, footage posted on social media showed.

Witnesses told Saudi media that the man also tried to set fire to the kiswah, the black and gold silk curtain that covers the Kaaba.

One witness told the Sabq news website that the man had been uttering "takfiri" slogans, referring to extremist Islamist groups blamed for numerous attacks worldwide.


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