Baby among six Britons killed in Saudi road crash

LONDON (AFP) - A two-month old baby was among six British nationals killed in a road accident in Saudi Arabia, according to British officials and media Thursday (Jan 19).

Four members of the same family killed in the accident were from Manchester, north-west England, while the two other victims were a couple from Glasgow in Scotland.

Glasgow Central Mosque named two of the victims as Mohammad Aslam and Talat Aslam, who have five children, saying they had just completed Umra, a pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam's holiest site.

They "were travelling in a minibus" to Medina, it said in a statement about the accident, which occurred Wednesday according to British media.

The baby Adam Anis was killed along with his grandparents, Mohammed Khursheed and Noshina Ahmed, and his grandmother's sister Rabia Ahmed, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Two of her other sisters were said to be critically ill in hospital, while the boy's mother is also in a serious condition along with her other children, aged two and three, the newspaper said.

"We are a very close-knit family. This has been devastating for all of us. Our family is never going to be the same again," Farah Zahid, whose mother was critically injured, told the newspaper.

"Everyone is either in shock or completely heartbroken," she added.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman confirmed six British people died following a road accident in Saudi Arabia.

"We are also helping several more British nationals who were injured in the crash," she said, without specifying how many.

Mohammed Arif, director of Manchester-based Haji Tours which organised the tour, said his staff had been informed the crash was an accident and a tyre on the vehicle they were travelling in burst.

Every year, millions of Muslims flock to Mecca and Medina further south, Islam's second holiest site, to carry out the annual hajj pilgrimage or the Umra.

In 2015, more than 2,000 worshippers performing hajj were crushed to death in Mecca, in the worst disaster ever to strike the annual ritual.