Scots Couple Among Six Britons Killed In Saudi Minibus Crash

19 January 2017, 16:28 | Updated: 19 January 2017, 17:57

Mecca pilgrimage

A couple from Glasgow are among six Britons killed in a road crash in Saudi Arabia.

The victims are all thought to have been on a pilgrimage when their minibus crashed while travelling between Mecca and Medina.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: ''We are supporting the families of six British people who have sadly died following a road accident in Saudi Arabia.

''We are also helping several more British nationals who were injured in the crash. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families at this very difficult time.''

Along with the Scottish couple, four people believed to be from Manchester died in the incident on Wednesday.

Glasgow Central Mosque named two of the victims as Mohammad and Talat Aslam, parents of five, from the Newlands area of the city.

The group had just completed Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca, according to the mosque.

The mosque said Mr and Mrs Aslam were popular members of the community.

A Facebook post by the Mosque read: ''We understand they had just completed the Umrah pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah (Mecca) and were travelling in a minibus to visit the holy city of Madinah.

''We have every confidence in the Saudi authorities currently investigating the crash and in giving the dearly departed due dignity and decorum.

''Mr Mohammad Aslam and Mrs Talat Aslam were popular members of the community and are survived by their five children. We pray Allah the Almighty grants the deceased a high rank in Paradise and gives their loved ones strength and patience at this difficult time.

''We would kindly request the family be given space and time to grieve for their loved ones and to come to terms with their sudden loss.''

Umrah is a pilgrimage to Mecca by Muslims made at any time of the year, differing from the annual Hajj which takes place in the month of Dhul Hijjah, the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

The Hajj is seen as a mandatory religious duty that must be carried out at least once by adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey.

Last year it was held in September with more than one million Muslims travelling to Saudi Arabia.

The Manchester victims were named locally as Mohammed Khursheed and his wife, Noshina Ahmed, their two-month-old grandson Adam Anis and Mrs Ahmed's sister Rabia.