Saudi Arabia says it is safe for pilgrims

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In Saudi Arabia, there was a show of force as tens of thousands of pilgrims flock to Mecca for the Haj.

The parade included forces fast roping from helicopters and representatives from the military and first responders.

Saudi Arabia's new Minister of the Interior says they are up to the challenge fo providing security for the Haj and that the turmoil in the region won't spill over to Mecca.

SOUNDBITE: Saudi Arabia's new Minister of the Interior Prince Ahmed Bin Adbulaziz saying (Arabic):

"The pilgrimage will not be affected by what's happening elsewhere. Pilgrims come to worship God and perform their duties for Him. I don't think there will be any repercussions because of what is unfortunately happening in Syria and elsewhere."

He also denied reports that Syrian pilgrims have been stopped from attending the Haj.