Thousands of Yemeni pilgrims seeking to perform the Hajj this year were stopped by the Houthi militias, Yemen’s official news agency SABA reported.
Mukhtar Al-Rabash, the undersecretary at the Ministry of Awqaf for the Department of Hajj and Umrah, told SABA that the Houthi militias and militants loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh had seized the passports of over 2,000 pilgrims and obstructed the departure of hundreds of others from areas under their control.
Al-Rabash pointed out that the pilgrims’ passports were confiscated at the coup militias’ checkpoints. “This has caused a delay to the schedule of Hajj arrivals toward Mecca as agreed with Saudi authorities,” he added.
The Yemeni official condemned the practices carried out against pilgrims, stressing that they should not be part of the political conflict between the Yemeni government and the Houthis.