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Saudi Arabia: 2 Algeria pilgrims murdered in Makkah 

Muslim prospective Hajj pilgrims circumambulate the Kaaba at Masjid al-Haram in Makkah, Saudi Arabia on 12 August, 2019 [Halil Sağırkaya/Anadolu Agency]
Hajj pilgrims at Masjid Al-Haram in Makkah, Saudi Arabia on 12 August, 2019 [Halil Sağırkaya/Anadolu Agency]

Two Algerian nationals have been fatally stabbed in the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, by a fellow compatriot as they were there to perform Umrah, lesser pilgrimage. The shocking murder took place on Monday, according to Algerian news website Ennahar Online, which reported that a quarrel broke out between the three pilgrims at their residence, Seriji Hotel.

The pilgrims were among an Algerian group who had travelled to the kingdom earlier this month to perform Umrah, reported Algerian newspaper Elkhbar. The perpetrator who fled the scene is reported to have stabbed one of the pilgrims at the hotel's reception area and inflicted further stab wounds on a second pilgrim in their room before fleeing. He was later apprehended by Saudi police at the Grand Mosque, after surveillance footage was reviewed.

Citing an Algerian travel official, the Algerian newspaper revealed that the suspect is a 40-year-old man who had been treated at a mental hospital in Algeria prior to his trip to Saudi Arabia, according to an Algerian travel official. The official further stated that the suspect exhibited abnormal behaviour on the morning of the attack due to psychological pressure and unknown reasons, which led him to behave erratically.

A pilgrim, who was a roommate of the two deceased men, is being held pending findings of an investigation into the attack, the official said.

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