(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Mina is a town near Mecca, where pilgrims sleep in tents and stone three pillars, representing the satan, with seven pebbles, on the last day of Hajj. The Saudi government has built thousand of air-conditioned tents to accommodate pilgrims, during this ritual.
A known female community leader said that when the local group entered Tent Section 40, an area designated for American, European and Australian Muslims, a pilgrim in the group was asked about his sect, by a member of another group.
"When he said he was Shi'a, they called him Kafir (infidel) and attacked him," said the woman, who did not want her name to be revealed, for safety concerns, until she leaves Saudi Arabia next week.
The attackers, who are Australians of Lebanese descent, then hit three other men in the group and dragged one into a tent, while choking and kicking him.
"They took him into a woman's tent and had him in a chokehold. They were choking him out. When our guys got to him, he was blue," she said.
The attackers threatened the pilgrims to leave the tent area, while bringing up historic sectarian references.
"We will kill you Shi'a men and rape your women," they shouted, according to the source.
The source said security officers at the tent area were aware of the attack, but stood by and did not do anything to stop it.
The pilgrims left the tent area from the emergency exits and waited about an hour for their buses to arrive and drive them back to the hotel, which was 15 minutes away.
"We were terrified. When you have someone threatening your life and threatening to rape your women and having the audacity to make such remarks and walk into your tent, you take those threats seriously," said the female community leader.
Police came to the scene, after the group had gotten out to the main road, cooperated with the pilgrims' guide and promised to get them justice. However, police officers deleted video recordings of the attack from the pilgrims' phones.
The local group returned to Mina, without police assistance, on Thursday, Oct. 17, to complete the ritual and stone the pillars that represent the satan.
They were required to spend Thursday night praying in Mina, but since they feared for their lives, they will seek a religious accommodation for being unable to complete that ritual.