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Public suicide hoax in Saudi Arabia goes viral

A video falsely claimed to show a person hanging from a bridge

Published: Updated:

A video that has gone viral among social media users in Saudi Arabia falsely claimed to show a person hanging from a bridge in the capital Riyadh, pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat reported Sunday.

Police said what appeared in the video was a “puppet.” The perpetrators remain unknown, and authorities said “fictitious suicide” is a breach of the law, Al-Hayat reported.

The newspaper noted a similar incident in February in Jeddah. Social media users also circulated footage falsely showing a female falling from a bridge.

Authorities said the body was a “dummy,” and the aim was “to convince passers-by it is the body of a girl who committed suicide.”

A similar incident also took place in the city of Buraidah. A dummy was dropped off a bridge while dressed in a traditional thobe and ghutra.

The perpetrators of these incidents could be “attention-seekers” looking for “excitement and thrill,” Al-Hayat quoted a psychological expert as saying.