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November 5, 2001
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Saudi Arabia fears upheaval at Mecca if US strikes continue

Saudi Arabia apprehends trouble at Mecca where hundreds of Muslims are expected to gather for prayers during Ramadan if there is no pause in United States-led strikes in Afghanistan during the fasting month.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal, who was on a surprise visit to Islamabad a few days ago, told President Gen Pervez Musharraf to persuade the US to halt the operation during Ramadan, beginning November 17, as continuation of the strikes could lead to a very volatile situation in the kingdom, a Pakistani daily reported on Monday.

Faisal warned that the continuation of bombings could lead to a situation similar to that of 1998 during which hundreds of Iranian pilgrims staged massive rallies leading to police shootings, The News daily said.

According to the report, the kingdom has told the Pakistani leadership that the mood of the pilgrims that congregate in Mecca during Ramadan could be one of intense anger and resentment.

Musharraf had unsuccessfully taken up the issue with US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Sunday.

"We know the feelings. The question is very important and sensitive but the reality is that additional terrorist acts are being expected and they could be terrible and could harm lot of more people," Rumsfeld told reporters after his meeting with Musharraf.

During the meeting, Rumsfeld also reportedly presented plausible intelligence inputs which suggested that the US and its allies would face serious threats in the coming days if there is any let up in bombings in Afghanistan.

PTI

EARLIER REPORT:
Saudi Prince fears Musharraf may be toppled

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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