Saudi security shoots down recreational drone over restricted area

Recreational drone intercepted by officers at Riyadh’s Al Khuzama police station; amateur footage circulating earlier on social media showed loud gunfire that lasted for at least 30 seconds

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


RIYADH: Saudi Arabian security forces said they had shot down a recreational drone in the capital on Saturday after online videos showing gunfire in a neighbourhood where royal palaces are located.

The Riyadh police spokesman, quoted by the official Saudi News Agency (SPA), said a security screening point noticed the flying of a small unauthorized recreational drone at 7:50 pm local time, leading security forces to deal with it according to their orders and instructions.

There were no casualties, and King Salman was not at his palace at the time, a senior Saudi official told Reuters.

“The king was at his farm in Diriya,” the official said, naming another area of the capital.

Amateur footage circulating earlier on social media showed loud gunfire that lasted for at least 30 seconds.

One video showed two police cars parked in the middle of a dark street. Reuters was unable to independently verify the videos’ authenticity.

Asked about the footage, the official said the drone had been shot down, and added that the government would introduce regulations for the use of recreational drones.

The competent authorities have initiated investigations into the circumstances of the incident, according to SPA.

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