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Foreign visitor jumps off top of Mecca’s Grand Mosque in apparent suicide

Foreign visitor jumps off top of Mecca’s Grand Mosque in apparent suicide

A foreign visitor has jumped off the roof of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and died on the spot, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported citing local police. Alleged footage of the incident was published by Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah.

The man jumped to his death from at the Grand Mosque on Friday evening, according to the SPA. His body was immediately sent to a local hospital and the investigation into the incident and the man’s motives is ongoing. There were no reports on any other people injured.

Footage allegedly showing the body falling into a crowd of pilgrims meters away from the Kaaba, a cube-shaped structure in the center of Islam’s most important mosque was published by Daily Sabah. The crowd is seen recoiling away from the spot as the man fell.

While the man’s identity has not been announced, there are conflicting reports on the matter. Daily Times says that he was 35 years old, and Daily Sabah reports citing local media that he was a 26-year-old French citizen who converted to Islam.

The incident occurred during the fasting month of Ramadan, when thousands of Muslims flock to the Grand Mosque. Suicide is considered a major sin in Islam.

Last year, a Saudi man was captured by police as he was trying to set himself ablaze near the Kaaba.

The Great Mosque of Mecca, also called Al-Haram Mosque, “the Forbidden Mosque” or “the Sacred Mosque” or Grand Mosque of Makkah, is the largest mosque in the world, and surrounds the Islamic Qiblah, Direction of Prayer, that is the Kaaba in the Hejazi city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Muslims face the Kaaba while performing the Ṣalāh. One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Ḥajj, one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world, at least once in their lifetime if able to do so, including Ṭawāf of the Kaaba.