Saudi Arabia appoints new health, Hajj ministers

Observer Report

Saudi Arabia issued a host of royal decrees yesterday including the appointment of new ministers for the health and Hajj and Umrah portfolios.

Former health minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah has been appointed the new minister of Hajj and Umrah. Fahd Al-Jalajel has been appointed as the Kingdom’s new health minister.

Abdul Aziz bin Abdulrahman Al-Arifi has been relieved of his post as assistant minister of transport and was appointed as an advisor to transfer them to Kabul,” he said.

The head of Kandahar police said units would be assigned to protect the Shia mosques which have so far been guarded by local volunteer forces with special permission to carry weapons.

“Unfortunately they could not protect this area and in future we will assign special security guards for the protection of mosques and Madrasas,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter by a Taliban spokesman.

Meanwhile, the militant Islamic State group on Saturday claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack on a Shia mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar that killed at least 41 people and injured scores more.

In a statement released on its Telegram channels, the group said two Islamic State suicide bombers carried out separate attacks on different parts of the mosque in Kandahar.

The group, a bitter rival of the Taliban, which swept back to power in Afghanistan in August as the United States and its allies withdrew, regards Shia Muslims as heretics. —Reuters/ AFP


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