Saudi arrests two over German envoy attack

The two diplomats escaped unharmed when their car came under fire on Jan. 13

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Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that two suspects were arrested in connection with shooting attack in January on two German diplomats in kingdom’s Eastern Province.

The two envoys escaped unhurt when their car came under fire on Jan. 13 in Eastern Province, where many of the country’s two million-strong Shiite minority resides.

A spokesman for the interior ministry said a Saudi identified as Ahmed bin Hussein al-Aradi was arrested at the beginning of February and admitted taking part in the attack, Agence France-Presse reported.

The spokesman, who described January’s incident as a “terrorist attack,” said his interrogation led to the identification of his alleged accomplices, one of whom was arrested.


Protests had first erupted in Eastern Province in March 2011, when ten people were killed in clashes with security forces.

The fighting intensified after the arrest in July 2012 of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, considered to be a key force behind the protests.

However, tensions later eased in August that year when seven Shiite dignitaries from Qatif backed calls by King Abdullah for the creation of a center for Sunni-Shiite dialogue.

The interior ministry spokesman on Sunday also called for three people named on a list of 23 Saudis wanted in connection with violence in Eastern Province to give themselves up.

He also urged two more, whose names are not on the list, to surrender, urging anybody who may have information on the wanted people to send it immediately to relevant security bodies.

(With AFP and Reuters)