Middle East

Saudi campaign raises $72.3 mn for Syrians

RIYADH: A five-day Saudi fundraising campaign to support the people in Syria has raised more than $72.33 million, the kingdom's Interior Minister Prince Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz was quoted as saying Saturday.

The campaign, launched on Monday, received donations worth 271.245 million riyals ($72.33 million), the state news agency SPA reported quoting Prince Ahmed.

The national fundraising effort saw a donation of 20 million riyals ($5.3 million) from King Abdullah.

Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, who is also deputy prime minister and defence minister, followed by donating 10 million riyals ($2.6 million).

The campaign also collected food, medical equipment, clothes, tents, blankets, and jewellery as part of its drive to support the people of Syria.

More than 19,000 people have been killed across Syria since an uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime erupted in March 2011.

OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and other energy-rich Sunni nations of the Gulf have repeatedly voiced support for Syrian rebels against the regime of Assad, a member of the Alawite community, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.





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