A foreign national on Friday, reportedly committed suicide by throwing himself to the ground from the roof of the Grand Mosque in the Holy city of Makkah.
English alArabiya reported that the Mosque’s spokesperson informed the media, that the man jumped from the roof of the Grand Mosque at around 9:20pm and died on the spot. The police also confirmed the incident.
“A foreigner threw himself from the roof of the Grand Mosque in Mecca” to the courtyard below, “resulting in his instant death”, state news agency SPA said, quoting police.
A Saudi Press Agency statement quoted the spokesperson as saying:
“The body was rushed to a hospital, pending the results of the investigation into the incident, particularly his identity, and reasons behind his behaviour despite the erection of a strong round fence to protect people from falling down.”
The body was transported to hospital, with an investigation underway “to determine the victim’s identity, what led to the act and how he was able to commit it despite the existence of a metal fence”, SPA said.
The rare act was not the first of its kind to take place in Mecca, the holiest city in Islam — which, like other monotheistic religions, prohibits suicide. In 2017, there was a viral video which shows a man trying to set himself on fire in front of the Kaaba — the square stone building in the centre of the mosque compound — but was stopped by security forces.
The man appears to try pour a flammable liquid over his body before he is stopped by worshippers and taken away by the security forces. According to Saudi news site, al-Arabiya, the spokesman for mosque security stated the man appeared to be in his 40s and was mentally ill. He also denied rumours that the man was attempting to set the actual Kabaa on fire.