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29 Oct 2020 | 06:25 AM UTC

Saudi Arabia: Guard stabbed at French consulate in Jeddah on October 29, suspect detained

Suspect arrested after stabbing guard at French consulate in Jeddah on October 29; security operations likely in near term

sécurité
SAU

Event

A man was arrested on Thursday, October 29, after stabbing a guard at the French consulate in the western city of Jeddah. The suspect reportedly attacked the guard at the entrance to the consulate but is believed to have been quickly detained by other security personnel. The condition of the assaulted guard is currently unclear.

Localized disruptions are likely in the area of the French consulate on Ash Shuara Street in the near term amid ongoing security and investigative operations.

Context

Teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded in an attack by an alleged Islamist extremist in the northern Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on October 16 after showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a civics class. The attack prompted the arrest of a number of people linked to the attacker and comments from President Macron about religious rights and freedom of expression in French society. However, the government's response was seen by some communities as Islamophobic and has prompted a number of protests and calls for boycotts of French goods in some Muslim-majority countries.

Advice

Those in Jeddah are advised to avoid the area arounf the French consulate in the near term due to the ongoing security operations. Travellers should be aware of a elevated threat against French nationals and interests in Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region and should exercise a heightened level of vigilance.

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