908 Nigerian Women Pilgrims Held in Saudi Arabia

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) - Nigerian officials say 908 Muslim women pilgrims traveling to Mecca face deportation from Saudi Arabia for traveling without male relatives.

A National Hajj Commission of Nigeria report submitted to Nigerian lawmakers Wednesday says Saudi authorities are holding the Nigerian women at King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah.

An Associated Press reporter spoke to a woman pilgrim at a Nigerian airport who said she had been deported Wednesday from the Saudi Arabian city of Medina, along with dozens of others.

A commission spokesman had previously said the situation was resolved, but the report says Saudi authorities have "remained adamant."

It said the pilgrims had been held in poor conditions "with some needing urgent medical attention."

All able-bodied Muslims who can afford it are expected to perform the Hajj pilgrimage at least once.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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