IN PICTURES: Saudi Arabia’s Hajj security forces hold annual military parade

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Saudi Arabia’s Hajj security forces held an annual military parade on Monday which was patronized by Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef.

The ceremony demonstrated “the high professionalism of the security personnel in the Kingdom in the fight against terrorism,” a statement from the Saudi Press Agency read.

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Saudi Arabia will host two million Muslims this week as they descend on Mecca to perform Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.

The minister was received by Makkah Deputy Governor Prince Abdullah bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz, General Saeed bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, the interior minister’s assistant for operations affairs and head of the security committee at hajj, and General Khaled bin Qarar al-Harbi, the commander of the special emergency forces and of the hajj security forces.

During the ceremony displaying the forces’ readiness, Qahtani said: “The forces have begun executing their tasks in Makkah, the holy sites and Medina and in all border crossings and roads that lead to hajj areas.”

“The slogan they are proud of is that serving the guests of Allah, the merciful, is a sacred task and a great honor which they derive from their honest religious belief and from their execution of the orders of Saudi King Salman and the follow-up of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and under the direct supervision of the interior minister,” he added.

Qahtani also said that security forces are ready to perform their duties and maintain the pilgrims’ security and safety and facilitate their performance of rituals in cooperation and coordination with all ministries and relevant governmental departments and non-governmental institutions.

The military parade displayed the security forces’ mechanisms, the special armored vehicles and the security forces’ aviation and showed the forces’ combating skills at fighting terrorism.