Oct. 28 - Saudi operators control over 3,500 cameras monitoring Haj pilgrims celebrating Eid. Sophia Soo reports.
Over 3,500 cameras record every move in Mina, Saudi Arabia, through the Eid al-Adha celebrations. These screens are monitored around the clock during the week long annual haj pilgrimage. The supervisor at the control room said his job was to catch early signs of major incidents and work to divert the flow of pilgrims. (SOUNDBITE) (English) COLONEL KHALID AL GHAMDI, SUPERVISOR OF COMMAND AND CONTROL CENTER ROOM, SAYING: "We have the most highly sophisticated systems, we could detect the license plate, even the badge plate, we can detect that." Earlier, Saudi authorities dispersed a protest by hundreds of Syrian pilgrims against their President Bashar al-Assad. Officers asked the crowd to leave the area through loudspeakers. They swiftly moved and merged with thousands of other pilgrims in the area. Saudi Arabia has spent billions of dollars expanding the Grand Mosque and building new infrastructure to avert the stampedes and tent fires. The Islamic holiday this year has attracted more than three million people from nearly 190 countries.