Egyptian consulate forms task force after two Egyptians shot in Riyadh

In the wake of an incident in which two Egyptians, one a journalist, were shot in the Saudia Arabian capital of Riyadh on Wednesday, the General Egyptian Counselor to Saudi Arabia Fawzi el-Ashmawi said he was forming a task force to follow developments in the case. According to el-Ashmawi, the team will include the vice-counselor from the Egyptian consulate in Riyadh, and will work with the local police department as it begins taking testimony from witnesses.

The counselor said that he formed the task force immediately after receiving news of the incident, adding that the Prince of Riyadh, Suliman Abdel Aziz, was also closely monitoring the ongoing police investigation.

According to reports, Subhi Rukha, an Egyptian correspondent for the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai, and his Egyptian neighbor Walid el-Safati, were shot after they intervened in a dispute between another Egyptian resident and three Saudi men. When the Saudis drove off, the Egyptians began to walk away from the scene assuming that the matter was settled. At this point, however, one of the Saudi men opened fire from the back seat of their vehicle, hitting Rukha and el-Safati in the legs. The Egyptians did not manage to make a note of the vehicle’s registration number.

El-Ashmawi described the incident as “grave”, declaring the shootings to be completely unjustified. He added that the incident was unusual for Riyadh, where residents live in safety under the protection of Prince Aziz and other political leaders.

The counselor said he was confident that Saudi authorities would arrest the perpetrators and put them on trial. He added that the injured Egyptians would be given the best medical care possible, and if it was determined that they would be permanently disabled, they would receive appropriate compensation for their injuries.

El-Ashmawi noted that he had informed the relevant authorities at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry of the incident.

Assistant Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdel Hukm stated that the Egyptian consulate in Riyadh had immediately contacted the relevant officials in the Foreign, Interior and Justice Ministries at the same time as the prince after learning of the shootings. He expressed his deepest gratitude to the Saudi authorities for their swift response in the wake of the incident and for providing health care to the injured Egyptians.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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