KSA: Interior ministry to restrict drones flying

Security authorities said they are close to imposing restrictions on drones operations in the kingdom after a toy-drone flying over royal palaces in capital Riyadh Saturday triggered security worries.

“The regulation for the use of remote controlled drones is in its final stages,” the interior ministry said Sunday.

Civilian-manned drones must acquire police permission before operation in “permitted sites”, the ministry said.

Guards at royal places housing King Salman and Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman Saturday brought down a toy-drone hovering over the royal compounds.

The incident also sparked gun shots, which ignited speculation of power takeover, press reports said.

Security near the places has been of late beefed up as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman oversees landmark social and economic reforms to prepare for a post-oil era, despite the risk of riling religious hardliners, AFP reports.

The kingdom reportedly gunned down two Iran-made drones launched by Yemen Houthi rebels few days ago. One drone targeted the kingdom’s oil giant Aramco facilities in the southern part of the kingdom.

The Houthi rebels have launched several missiles over the kingdom making one victim last month in Riyadh.

Riyadh has been leading an international coalition in Yemen to dislodge the Iran-backed rebels who have managed to drive internationally recognized government of President Mansour Hadi out of capital Sanaa and taken control of vast swathes of the country’s territory.

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