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)


Saudi King Salman, crown prince receive US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

Updated 17 min 20 sec ago
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Saudi King Salman, crown prince receive US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

  • Pompeo thanked King Salman for his commitment to a thorough, transparent investigation
  • The crown prince assured Pompeo that the US and Saudi Arabia are "old, strong allies"

RIYADH: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with King Salman in the Saudi capital on Tuesday, before arriving at Riyadh’s royal palace to talk with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Pompeo thanked Saudi King Salman for his commitment to a thorough, transparent investigation of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, while the crown prince assured him that the US and Saudi Arabia are "old, strong allies."

The US chief diplomat was greeted at Riyadh airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and ambassador to Washington Prince Khalid bin Salman.

“I hope you are comfortable here,” the king told Pompeo, according to the reporters. Pompeo responded, “Thank you for accepting my visit on behalf of President Donald Trump.”

Pompeo will hold talks in Turkey on Wednesday, the Turkish foreign ministry said, after his visit to Riyadh.
The top American diplomat will meet his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to discuss bilateral and regional issues including Syria, the Turkish foreign ministry said in a statement.
The statement did not refer to the disappearance of Khashoggi after his visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to receive documents ahead of his wedding.