Four members of a foreign musical troupe performing in the Saudi Arabian capital were stabbed on stage during a live-show on Monday night. Saudi security officials arrested the assailant, identified as a Yemeni. The stabbing took place at Riyadh's King Abdullah Park, where a musical performance by a troupe believed to be from Europe was progressing.
Saudi police said the man, 33-year-old Yemeni expatriate, was arrested and the knife used in the attack was seized as well. "Security forces dealt with a... stabbing attack against two men and a woman from a theatre group during a live performance," official news outlet Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said citing officers. Initial reports said three people were stabbed,. However, Arab News reported later that there were four victims.
SharkNewsWire tweeted that at least two women were among the victims. "Stabbing attack on foreign performers at King Abdullah Gardens open theatre. - At least 3 stabbed including 2 females. Media in the region say the performers are from a theatre group based in the Hague, Netherlands," the tweet said.
The extremely conservative kingdom eased some restrictions on public entertainment events after Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) took the reins as de facto ruler. Mondy's attack, a rare incident in tightly controlled Saudi Arabia, could be seen as a backlash against the prince's reform measures. It is not yet clear if the attack, launched by a Yemeni, was in reprisal of the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen.
A video footage from the incident circulating on social media showed the assailant jumping onto the stage and stabbing people. Nine teams arrived at the location and transported the victims to the hospital, Yaser Al-Jalajil, official spokesman for the Saudi Red Crescent in Riyadh, told the Arab News.