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'Terrorist motive' in Saudi embassy shooting, Dutch prosecutors say

The shooting took place outside the embassy last week [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 November, 2020

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Dutch prosecutors on Monday confirmed a shooting at the Saudi embassy in The Hague last week was carried out with terrorist intent.
A man suspected of firing a gun at the Saudi embassy in The Hague last week acted with "terrorist intent", Dutch prosecutors said on Monday.

The 40-year-old suspect was held on Thursday last week hours after the incident, in which nobody was hurt. 

The man is suspected of carrying out violence against the embassy building, trying to kill the caretaker of the building and making threats, all "with a terrorist aim", prosecutors said in a statement. 

"Terrorist intent is apparent from the fact that the suspect appeared to want to impose his will on the embassy through his actions," the statement added, without giving further details. 

Judges extended the suspect's detention for another two weeks at a hearing on Monday.

The shots came a day after a bomb blast struck a World War I commemoration attended by foreign diplomats in the Saudi city of Jeddah. 

attack in Jeddah left at least two people wounded, including a Greek policeman and a Saudi official.

A British citizen was also believed to have been wounded.

Diplomats from France, Greece, Italy, Britain and the United States attended the Armistice Day commemoration ceremony in Jeddah, their embassies said, condemning the attack as "cowardly".

The Islamic State group on Thursday claimed responsibility for the bombing, saying it was to protest French satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

A statement by IS's propaganda arm Amaq said the attack "primarily targeted the French consul over his country's insistence on publishing the cartoons insulting to the Prophet of God".

The bombing came less than a month after a guard at the French consulate in Jeddah was wounded by a knife-wielding Saudi, amid Muslim fury over the cartoons.

The French embassy in Riyadh has urged its nationals in Saudi Arabia to exercise "extreme vigilance" since the attack at the Jeddah consulate on October 29, the same day a knife-wielding man killed three people at a church in Nice in southern France.

In response to the attacks, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman vowed to strike extremists with an "iron fist”.

"We will continue to confront any extremist behaviour and ideas," Prince Mohammed said in an address to the Shura Council, the top government advisory body.

"We will continue to strike with an iron fist against all those who want to harm our security and stability," he said, according to the transcript of his speech published by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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