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Snapchat blocks Al Jazeera in Saudi Arabia

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Snapchat is reportedly planning to launch more
Snapchat, IANS

Riyadh, Sep 18 (IANS) Social media platform Snapchat has blocked access to Al Jazeera content in Saudi Arabia, the media reported on Monday.

The popular photo-sharing app said it was asked by the Saudi authorities to remove the Qatari-backed broadcaster’s Discover Publisher Channel because it violated local laws, reports the BBC.

“We make an effort to comply with local laws in the countries where we operate,” a Snapchat spokesperson said in a statement.

Qatar is in an ongoing dispute with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The four countries cut ties with Qatar earlier this year, accusing the country of supporting terrorism.

After the start of the dispute, Saudi Arabia had also demanded the Qatari government to shut Al Jazeera altogether as one of 13 conditions to remove sanctions against the country.

However, those conditions were later withdrawn. (IANS)

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Saudi Arabia Grants 2.6 mn Visas to Perform Umrah This Year

Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. Unlike Haj, Umrah can be undertaken any time of the year

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Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Image Source: Wikimedia

Saudi Arabia has granted 2.664 million visas for pilgrims to perform Umrah this year, a 2.79 per cent up over the corresponding period last year, according to official statistics released on Friday.

Up till now, 2.250 million pilgrims have entered the kingdom to perform Umrah, a growth of 3.47 per cent over the same period last year, the Saudi Ministry of Haj and Umrah said.

Saudi Arabia issues 2.6 mn Umrah visas. (Wikimedia Commons)

Up to 1.9 million pilgrims have already performed Umrah to date and left the Kingdom, an increase of 3.05 per cent over the same period.

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Umrah is an Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. Unlike Haj, Umrah can be undertaken any time of the year. (IANS)