Yemenis rally against ‘ban’ on Hajj

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SANAA: Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets in this capital city to protest against Saudi Arabia’s refusal to allow them to perform the Hajj pilgrimage this year.

The protesters on Friday expressed their anger at Riyadh’s decision to deny thousands of Yemeni pilgrims a visit to the holy shrines in Mecca and Medina, news reports said. 

Yemen’s Ministry of Endowments and Religious Activities said in a statement that Saudi authorities have yet to accept documents sent by the ministry demanding clearance for thousands of Yemenis seeking to go for Hajj this year.

The protesters also condemned what they called the “hysteric bombardment” of innocent people in towns and villages across Yemen, especially a recent one in Sana’a, where dozens of people including women and children were killed.

The conflict in Yemen has left about 4,500 people dead and thousands of others wounded since late March, the UN says. Local Yemeni sources, however, say the fatality figure is much higher.

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