Glasgow & West Scotland

Tributes paid to Glasgow couple in Saudi crash

Mohammad Aslam and Talat Aslam Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Mohammad Aslam and Talat Aslam had been on a pilgrimage to Mecca before the crash

Tributes have been paid to a Glasgow couple killed in a minibus accident in Saudi Arabia.

A statement from Glasgow Central Mosque said Mohammad Aslam and Talat Aslam were on pilgrimage to Mecca. They were on their way to the city of Medina at the time of the crash.

The mosque described the couple, who lived in Newlands in Glasgow, as popular members of the community.

They are survived by their five children.

The statement expressed confidence in the Saudi authorities investigating the crash.

It added: "We pray Allah the Almighty grants the deceased a high rank in Paradise and gives their loved ones strength and patience at this difficult time.

"We would kindly request the family be given space and time to grieve for their loved ones and to come to terms with their sudden loss."

Image caption Talat Aslam and her husband Mohammad were part of a group travelling between Medina and Mecca
Image copyright Getty Images

Six British citizens were killed in the crash, the Foreign Office said.

In addition to Mohammad and Talat Aslam, the others killed are believed to be four members of a family from Manchester.

Travel firm Haji Tours named the youngest victim as Muhammad Adam Anis, who was just a few months old, and known as Adam.

It also named the baby's grandparents among the dead, 64-year-old Khurshid Ahmed and Noshina Ahmed, 49, and family member Rabia Ahmad, 57, who were all from Manchester.

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Media captionMr Farooq praised the couple's contribution to the community

Haji Tours said it was the first accident it had been involved in during nearly 15 years of running tours there.

Mohammad Arif of Haji Tours told the BBC: "A tyre burst on the motorway and you can understand what happens on the motorway when a tyre has burst.

"It's it's a very bad time for the families here in the UK."

A Foreign Office spokesman said consular assistance was being provided to relatives.

A family friend of the Glasgow couple, Mohammad Farooq, has spoken of his shock at the news.

He said Talat Aslam was "a ladies' lady".

"All the functions, charities, all the groups, she was always there in front all the time," he said. "The ladies will be really missing her."

'Source of joy'

Mr Farooq added of Mohammad Aslam: "To me he was a very dear friend, like my own brother. Anything I needed he would just come over and say 'I'll help you out'."

A tribute posted on social media by Ali Gibran said: "Just a few hours ago it came to my knowledge, my Aunt Talat Aslam and Uncle Aslam who went from Glasgow, Scotland to Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah have passed away in a car accident after they were en route to Madina after performing Umrah.

"This has put a dagger through my heart and I am still shell-shocked from the second I came to know of this horrendous news.

"My aunt was the heart of our family. So enthusiastic and a source for radiation of joy and happiness. A true gem embedded into our family. Her words sparkled in every gathering in which she took part. To lose her is one of the most agonizing feelings in my life."

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