Saudi forces shoot down 'toy drone' near royal palace

Police open investigation, state media says, as videos posted online purport to show area ringing with heavy gunfire.

    Saudi forces have shot down a toy drone near the royal palace in the capital, Riyadh, as videos posted online purported to show the area ringing with heavy gunfire.

    The official spokesman of Riyadh police said on Saturday that security forces "dealt with" an unauthorised, small drone-type toy after spotting it at a security point in Khuzama neighbourhood, state-run news agency SPA said.

    An investigation into the incident, which happened at 7:50pm (16:50 GMT), was under way, added SPA.

    There was no immediate information about any injuries or damage.

    Footage shared on social media appeared to show heavy shooting that lasted for at least 30 seconds, sparking speculation of political unrest.

    Al Jazeera could not independently verify the authenticity of the videos.

    An unnamed senior Saudi official told Reuters news agency that Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was not in his palace at the time of the incident.

    "The king was at his farm in Diriya," the official said, naming another area of Riyadh.

    In October 2017, a gunman drove up to a gate of the king's palace in the Red Sea city of Jeddah and opened fire, killing at least two security guards and wounding three others before being shot dead.

    The attacker, who was identified by the interior ministry as Mansour al-Amri, a 28-year-old Saudi national, was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle and three Molotov cocktails.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


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