Terror threat puts Kingdom on top alert

Updated 21 April 2015
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Terror threat puts Kingdom on top alert

Saudi Arabia has put security forces on alert for a possible militant attack on vital energy installations and popular shopping malls, Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said on Monday.
“There was information about a possible terrorist attack targeting a mall or Saudi Aramco installation. We have passed this information to the security forces to be on alert,” Al-Turki said in a statement.
Al-Turki said he had no further information about the threat.
Riyadh has been carrying out airstrikes against Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 26 in Operation Decisive Storm for restoring the country’s legitimacy.
“Saudi Arabia is targeted by terrorism. Usually in such situations (conflicts), there are attempts by terrorist groups to take advantage and carry out attacks,” said Al-Turki.
On Saturday, guards at the gates of a central Riyadh shopping mall stopped single men from entering and searched the bags of female shoppers.
In 2006, four Al-Qaeda militants breached the gates of Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq plant but couldn’t cause significant damage.
Since then Saudi Arabia has strengthened the security of energy infrastructure and set up a 40,000-strong force for the purpose.


Riyadh bird market closed after duck found with avian flu

Updated 31 min 43 sec ago
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Riyadh bird market closed after duck found with avian flu

  • Azizia Bird Market shutdown after duck was found to be carrying H5N8 avian flu
  • Bird and poultry keepers warned not to go to Azizia bird market until clearance work has been completed on the site

JEDDAH: Azizia Bird Market in Riyadh has been closed after a duck was found to be carrying H5N8 avian flu during ongoing inspections of poultry markets in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture announced on Friday.
Ministry spokesman Dr. Abdullah Abalkhail told Arab News that action was taken immediately after the bird was found to be infected.
Ducks carry the virus, but do not display symptoms of the infection.
As well as closing the market, the authorities have prevented the movement of birds in the market, and followed directions from Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz, Acting Governor of Riyadh Region, to dispose of the birds safely and efficiently.
A contingency plan for dealing with cases of bird flu was applied by the Ministry’s branch in Riyadh, in cooperation with the security authorities, Riyadh Municipality, Riyadh Health Affairs Directorate, and the Ministry of Finance.
Abalkhail stressed that the Ministry, in cooperation with the relevant government sectors, has managed to stop the disease from spreading.
To date, there have been no human cases of H5N8 in the Kingdom. The last case of avian flu was recorded in the Kingdom on April 17 this year.
Abalkhail warned bird and poultry keepers not to go to Azizia bird market until clearance work has been completed on the site in order to protect their birds from infection.
Avian flu spreads rapidly among birds. He urged the public to report any suspected cases by calling the emergency number 8002470000.