British Muslim pilgrims killed in Saudi road collision

British Muslim pilgrims killed in Saudi road collision
2 min read
19 January, 2017
Six UK citizens have been killed and others injured in a road crash in Saudi Arabia after completing the Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca, the Foreign Office has said.
Millions of Muslims flock to Mecca every year to perform hajj or umrah [Anadolu]

Six British nationals have been killed and several more injured in a road crash in Saudi Arabia, Britain's foreign ministry said on Thursday.

"We are supporting the families of six British people who have sadly died following a road accident in Saudi Arabia," a Foreign Office spokesperson said.

"We are also helping several more British nationals who were injured in the crash," she said, without specifying how many.

Glasgow Central Mosque released a statement naming two of the victims as Glasgow couple Mohammad Aslam and Talat Aslam, who have five children, saying they had just completed Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam's holiest site.

They "were travelling in a minibus" to Medina, it said, adding: "Four members of another family from Manchester were also killed in the tragedy".

The Britons were traveling to Medina when the crash occurred on Wednesday.

Umrah is a minor pilgrimage to Mecca that can be taken all year-round, while Hajj is a major pilgrimage that takes place once every year, a trip that all able-bodied Muslims are expected to perform at least once in their lifetime.

Every year, millions of Muslims flock to Mecca and Medina further south, Islam's second holiest site, to carry out either type of pilgrimage.

In 2015, more than 2,400 worshippers performing Hajj were crushed to death in Mecca, in the worst disaster ever to strike the annual ritual.