Saudi security forces said that a man arrested on Monday at the Kaaba in Mecca was trying to kill himself and not attempting to set the holy structure on fire, as was initially reported.
A security forces spokesman said that at 11pm on Monday, a Saudi national who is in his forties and appears to be mentally unstable was arrested and referred to the authorities, after pouring gasoline on himself next to the Kaaba.
A video circulating on social media showed the man being dragged away from the structure by security forces and worshippers.
In response to the incident, the Saudi Highest Islamic Scholars Council praised security forces’ efforts to prevent any act that could hurt the feelings of Muslims or harm their sacred sites.
Previous reports quoted accounts from witnesses saying the man was spotted while pouring petrol on the Kaaba, the sacred structure towards which Muslims worldwide direct their prayers.
The Kaaba is located inside the Grand Mosque, and is visited by nearly 5 million Muslims who are on pilgrimage.
Occasional suicide attempts occur at the holy places in Mecca.