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Official: Syria planned bomb during Haj

Jan. 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A former military official said Syria planned to explode a bomb during the pilgrimage season last year in Saudi Arabia.

Imad al Haraki, who worked for the Syrian consulate in Saudi Arabia, said the Syrian government had selected him to carry out the act on the ninth day of Haj, when 3 million people gathered at the Arafat Mount during rituals.

He said the former deputy general consul, Shawqi Shamat, gave the orders to him.

Gulf News said al Haraki decided to tell Saudi authorities about the plot, and three diplomats in the consulate were deported as a result.

Al Haraki said he then asked Saudi authorities for protection, as he had heard he had been sentenced to death.

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