Saudi Arabia enforces new law after unauthorized drone shot down in restricted area

A remote-controlled drone was shot down by police on Saturday night after it was detected flying over a restricted area in Riyadh without a security clearance. (Shutterstock)
Updated 22 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia enforces new law after unauthorized drone shot down in restricted area

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry said on Sunday that drone-flying enthusiasts must obtain permission to fly the devices until regulations were finalized.
Amateur online videos of heavy gunfire in the capital's Khozama district on Saturday sparked fears of possible political unrest in the world's top oil exporter. A senior Saudi official told Reuters there were no casualties when the drone was shot down and that King Salman was not in the palace at the time.
A security screening point had noticed the flying of a small unauthorized recreational drone, leading security forces to deal with it "according to their orders and instructions", state news agency SPA had said.
An Interior Ministry spokesman said a law for the use of drones was in its final stage and called on users to obtain the necessary police clearance to use the devices "for particular reasons in permitted locations", state news agency SPA reported.

A remote-controlled drone was shot down by police on Saturday night after it was detected flying over a restricted area in Riyadh without a security clearance.

The drone, believed to be a toy, was intercepted by officers at Al Khuzama police station, a spokesperson for the Riyadh Police Department said. The police unit acted immediately and in accordance with relevant security instructions, and the authorities have launched an investigation into the incident, the spokesperson said.

(With Reuters)


Sandstorm engulfs parts of Saudi Arabia with rain expected at the weekend

Updated 44 min 8 sec ago
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Sandstorm engulfs parts of Saudi Arabia with rain expected at the weekend

  • Low visibility was forecast on Thursday and Friday for cities in the Riyadh region
  • Sub-zero temperatures are expected

RIYADH: A sandstorm engulfed parts of the Kingdom on Thursday, enveloping the skyline with dust and hampering visibility in some cities in the Eastern Province.

The General Authority for Meteorology and Environmental Protection has forecast more such storms and low visibility between Wednesday and Saturday across the Kingdom, as well as light to moderate rain and snowfall to the north, which will lead to a substantial drop in temperatures in places, including Riyadh.

According to forecasts, mercury levels could drop as low as -3 degrees Celsius.

Low visibility was forecast on Thursday and Friday for cities in the Riyadh region, including Al-Kharj, Shaqra, Zulfi, Dawadmi, Afif, Aflaj and Wadi Al-Dawasir.

High speed wind and dust are predicted during the day time.

According to the forecast for Riyadh, especially areas north of the city, mercury levels will drop on Friday and Saturday, while wind speed reached up to 27 km/h in the capital on Thursday.

Residents in the Eastern Province, Makkah, Madinah, Tabuk, Al-Jouf, Hail, Al-Qassim and Najran also experienced dusty weather.

Amid volatile weather conditions, the Civil Defense has advised motorists to slow down due to continued low visibility.

In other news, residents across parts of the Kingdom will be able to view a partial lunar eclipse just before dawn on Monday.

The eclipse will be 90 percent visible in Tabuk, half visible in Madinah, a third visible in Makkah and only marginally visible in Riyadh