Saudi issues drone restrictions following palace incident

A view The King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) on April 13, 2016 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

David Degner | Getty Images

A view The King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) on April 13, 2016 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s Indoor Ministry on Sunday instructed drone enthusiasts to obtain permission to fly the devices until regulations were finalized, a day after security forces shot down a recreational drone near the king’s palace in Riyadh.

Amateur online videos of heavy gunfire within the capital’s Khozama district on Saturday sparked fears of possible political unrest within the entire world’s top oil exporter. A senior Saudi official told Reuters there were no casualties when the drone was shot down as well as which King Salman was not within the palace at the time.

A security screening point had noticed the flying of a little unauthorized recreational drone, leading security forces to deal with the item “according to their orders as well as instructions”, state news agency SPA had said.

An Indoor Ministry spokesman said a law for the use of drones was in its final stage as well as called on users to obtain the necessary police clearance to use the devices “for particular reasons in permitted locations”, state news agency SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia has witnessed a series of radical political improvements over the past year under the king’s son, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has spearheaded reforms to transform the economy as well as open the country culturally.

The 32-year-old leader ousted his older cousin as crown prince last summer in a palace coup as well as then jailed senior royals as part of an anti-corruption sweep. Prominent clerics have also been detained in an apparent bid to silence dissent.

Those moves have helped Prince Mohammed consolidate his position in a country where power had been shared among senior princes for decades as well as religious figures exercised significant influence on policy.

yet they have also fueled speculation about a possible backlash against the crown prince, who remains favorite with Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning youth population.

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