Saudi king to host 200 pilgrims from families of Christchurch massacre

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz. (AFP pic)

RIYADH: King Salman Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia will host 200 pilgrims from the families of the Christchurch mosque shooting victims in New Zealand, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The hosting is part of the Saudi King Guests Programme for Hajj and Umrah implemented and supervised by the Islamic Affairs ministry.

Minister of Islamic Affairs and general supervisor of the programme, Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Sheikh, said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency that the initiative was part of the kingdom’s counterterrorism efforts.

He said that the ministry would follow up on the required procedures through the Saudi embassy in New Zealand to finalise the pilgrims’ departure to the Kingdom, and provide them with all facilities to perform the pilgrimage.

The Saudi king also said he would host 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims this year.

The Christchurch mosque shootings were two consecutive terrorist shooting attacks at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, during Friday prayers on March 15, which left 51 Muslim worshippers killed.