Dutch police arrest man over Saudi embassy shooting

No injuries after shots fired at building in The Hague day after attack on WW1 event in Jeddah

Bullet-damaged Saudi embassy windows being measured for repair in The Hague.
Bullet-damaged Saudi embassy windows being measured for repair in The Hague. Photograph: Lex van Lieshout/EPA
Bullet-damaged Saudi embassy windows being measured for repair in The Hague. Photograph: Lex van Lieshout/EPA
Agence France-Presse
Thu 12 Nov 2020 11.27 EST

Dutch police have arrested a man after multiple shots were fired at the Saudi embassy in The Hague, causing damage but no injuries.

The incident occurred the day after a bomb exploded at a first world war commemoration attended by foreign diplomats in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

The 40-year-old suspect was detained in Zoetermeer, 10 miles (16km) from The Hague, about eight hours after the shooting at 6am.

“Investigation led to the Zoetermeer suspect and the man was arrested in a house in Zoetermeer,” The Hague police said in a statement.

“Police officers also confiscated a passenger car for further investigation. The suspect is detained and will be questioned.”

Police found several bullet casings outside the embassy, they said. Numerous bullet holes could be seen in the windows, an Agence France-Presse journalist said.

The police spokesman Steven van Santen said a forensic examination was under way involving “traces on the bullet holes and the bullets”.

The Saudi embassy confirmed none of its staff were hurt, and said it had advised Saudi citizens in the Netherlands to “exercise caution”.

“Embassy security officers informed security authorities of the incident as soon as it occurred,” the Saudi embassy said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The Saudi government “condemns this cowardly attack, and thanks the Dutch authorities for their prompt response”.

The Dutch foreign ministry said it “takes this very seriously and is in close contact with the Saudi authorities”.

On Wednesday, a bomb at a non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah hit an Armistice Day commemoration being attended by diplomats from France, Greece, Italy, Britain and the US. At least two people were wounded.