(saudi gazette) – Car explodes near Riyadh’s Ha’er prison; teenage driver killed

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH – A car exploded at a checkpoint near the country’s highest security prison at sunset on Thursday, killing the driver and wounding two security officials, the Interior Ministry said.

State television said the driver was a teenager on the run after killing his uncle, he triggered the blast after officers surrounded his vehicle south of the capital Riyadh.

The use of an explosive so close to a prison holding hundreds of detainees will stoke fears of a growing threat of militancy in the Kingdom.

“While security officers were manning one of the security checkpoints on Ha’er Road in Riyadh, they directed the driver of a suspected car to stop. The driver initiated an explosion which led to his death,” the ministry said in a statement.

The road runs south from Riyadh to Ha’er prison, home to 1,375 detainees who were mainly convicted of militant crimes, its director told Reuters earlier this month.

The Ekhbariya state TV station, citing unnamed sources, said the teenage driver, later identified as Abdullah Fahd Abdullah Al-Rasheed, had killed his uncle that afternoon, then ran off with his car.

The driver had tried to drive past the checkpoint, then set off an explosive as security forces tried to surround him, it added.
The security personnel were in a “stable condition” in hospital, the Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Asked whether the incident was linked to Daesh (the so-called IS) group, Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, Interior Ministry spokesman, said he was waiting for information from investigators.

Thursday’s explosion took place on the last day of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, while fireworks exploded around the capital before the Eid Al-Fitr holiday on Friday.

?He further stated that investigators also found the bomber has never traveled outside the Kingdom, and that before blowing up the car at the security checkpoint, he had killed his uncle Col. Rashid Ibrahim Al-Safyan at his home in Riyadh.

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