Saudi concert stabbing suspect took orders from al-Qaeda in Yemen: Ekhbariya TV

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A man arrested for stabbing three performers at a live show in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh last month was operating under orders from al-Qaeda in Yemen, state television channel Ekhbariya said on Thursday.

The trial of the suspected assailant, previously identified only as a 33-year-old Yemeni resident, had begun, the broadcaster added.

The Nov. 11 attack occurred at King Abdullah Park, one of several venues hosting a months-long entertainment festival as part of government efforts to open up Saudi society and diversify its economy away from oil.

It sparked fears of a potentially violent backlash in the country against social reforms implemented by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, including ending bans on women driving, gender segregation and public entertainment.

The victims of the attack, two men and a woman, sustained “superficial wounds” and were stabilized after receiving medical care, state media reported at the time.

Twitter users in Saudi Arabia condemned the stabbing of three actors and voiced their support for the recent arrival of public entertainment events in the Kingdom.

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