April 22, 2018 — Saudi police shot down an unidentified remote-controlled drone Saturday night after it was detected flying over a restricted area in capital Riyadh without a security clearance.
The drone, believed to be a toy, was intercepted by officers at Al Khuzama police station, a spokesperson for the Riyadh Police Department said.
The police unit acted immediately and in accordance with relevant security instructions, and the authorities have launched an investigation into the incident, the spokesperson said.
Security forces said they had shot down a recreational drone in a neighborhood near the royal palaces in the capital Riyadh.
The Riyadh police spokesman, quoted by Saudi News Agency (SPA), said a security screening point noticed the flying of a small unauthorized recreational drone at 7:50 p.m. local time (1650 GMT), leading security forces to deal with it according to their orders and instructions.
There were no casualties, and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was not at his palace at the time, a senior Saudi official told Reuters.
“The king was at his farm in Diriya,” the official said, naming another area of the capital.
Asked about the footage, the official said the drone had been shot down, and added that the government would introduce regulations for the use of recreational drones.
Security around the palaces appears to have tightened in recent months as powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman oversees landmark social and economic reforms to prepare for a post-oil era.
The 32-year-old prince has also overseen a major military shake-up and a royal purge as he consolidates power