S. Arabia plans big Islamic centre in Afghanistan

KABUL - Saudi Arabia will build a massive Islamic centre complete with a university and a mosque in Afghanistan, an Afghan minister said on Monday, describing the project as “grand and unique”.

By (AFP)

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Published: Mon 29 Oct 2012, 8:41 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 3:17 PM

Estimated to cost up to $100 million, the centre on a hilltop in central Kabul will house up to 5,000 students, Dayi Ul Haq Abed, the acting Haj and religious affairs minister told.

It will be named after the Custodian of Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, the minister added.

“The agreement was signed last week in Jeddah. The construction will start next year, in couple of months or so,” Abed said.

The mosque, similar to the Faisal Mosque in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad that was also built by Saudi Arabia in 1980s, will hold 15,000 worshippers at a time.

The minister said the centre will be run jointly by the Saudi and Afghan ministries of religious affairs. Other universities in Afghanistan are run by the higher education ministry.

The US and Nato still have more than 100,000 troops in Afghanistan supporting the government of President Hamid Karzai, but they are due to pull out all combat forces by the end of 2014.

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