November 13, 2020
Dutch police arrest 40-year-old suspect, car confiscated
Security personnel at the embassy informed Dutch security services as soon as the incident occurred and the building was cordoned off. PHOTO: EPA
By Arab News
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – A gun attack on the Saudi Embassy in the Netherlands was on Thursday condemned by Islamic organizations and the international community.
Shots were fired at the Kingdom’s diplomatic mission in The Hague, a day after a bomb attack at a World War I remembrance service in Jeddah injured at least two people.
Security personnel at the embassy informed Dutch security services as soon as the incident occurred and the building was cordoned off, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported. No one was injured in the shooting.
Dutch police said on Thursday that they had arrested a 40-year-old man from the town of Zoetermeer in connection with the shooting and appealed for witnesses to the attack.
“Police officers also confiscated a passenger car for further investigation. The suspect is detained and will be questioned,” police added.
The motive for the shooting is not yet known.
In a tweet, Dutch police said: “Just before 6 a.m. (05:00 GMT) we received a message that a shot had been fired at a building in The Hague. There were no injuries.”
The road leading to the embassy was immediately closed off and security stepped up as forensic investigations into the incident got underway.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice, while the Arab Parliament condemned the attack and pledged its support for any steps taken by the Kingdom to protect its security and that of its citizens.
The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation described the incident as a “criminal” attack on the embassy, adding that it rejected “all forms of violence aimed at destabilizing security and stability that are contrary to religious and humanitarian values and principles.”
Dhaifallah Ali Al-Fayez, spokesperson for Jordan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, said Amman denounced the “cowardly act” and the targeting of innocent people.
He added that Jordan stood “absolutely” alongside Saudi Arabia against all threats to the country’s security and facilities.
In a statement, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the incident had been a “cowardly attack and trusts the measures taken by the Dutch authorities to uncover the perpetrators.”
Pakistan also “strongly condemns” the shooting incident at the Saudi Embassy in The Hague, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
“The shameful attack blatantly violated all international laws and norms,” a statement from the ministry said,
The ministry also expressed solidarity with Saudi Arabia “against any threat to its safety and security.”
Pakistan applauded the prompt action taken by the Dutch authorities, the ministry said, and hoped that those responsible would soon be brought to justice.
Saudi Arabia thanked the Dutch authorities for their quick response in attending the scene and urged Saudis in the Netherlands to be extra cautious.
The Dutch Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it was taking the shooting “extremely seriously” and was in close contact with Saudi authorities.
A number of bullet casings were found at the scene, the Dutch news agency ANP quoted police as saying.
The Kingdom said it was awaiting the results of the police investigation and looked forward to seeing those responsible for the attack being brought to justice.
Local media said 20 bullet holes were found in the building and showed pictures of holes in windows. Police, however, did not say how many shots had been fired.
The incident comes a day after a bomb went off at a World War I commemoration attended by French and other diplomats at a non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah. At least two people were injured in the blast.