​Saudi clerics renew fatwa against playing "Pokemon Go"

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Saudi Arabia's top clerics have renewed a religious edict that warns against playing Pokemon -- this time as a mobile phone application called "Pokemon Go."

First issued in 2001 when the game was played with cards, the decree says Pokemon violates Islamic prohibitions against gambling, uses devious Masonic-like symbols and promotes "forbidden images."

The edict, or fatwa, has reappeared in a ticker on the home page of the kingdom's portal for official religious decrees.

Saudi-based Arab News reported on Wednesday that Sheikh Saleh al-Fozan, a member of the kingdom's ultraconservative council of senior clerics, says the current version of the game is the same as the old one.

The game is popular in the Middle East and many gamers have downloaded the app though it's not been officially released regionally.