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Man arrested after several shots fired at Saudi embassy in Netherlands

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A technician takes measures of a window with bullet holes at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in The Hague, after it has been shot at on November 12, 2020. — AFP

THE HAGUE: A man was arrested on Thursday after multiple shots were fired at the Saudi embassy in the Dutch city of The Hague, police said.

They added that while damage was caused, no injuries occurred.

The incident comes a day after a bomb blast struck a World War I commemoration attended by foreign diplomats in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

The Dutch foreign ministry said it was taking the shooting “very seriously”.

“Around 6am (0500 GMT) we received a report that multiple shots were fired at the building of the Saudi Arabia embassy in The Hague. No one was injured,” The Hague police said on Twitter.

Later, in an update, the police said that a 40-year-old was arrested from Zoetermeer in connection with the shooting.

Numerous bullet holes could still be seen in the windows, an AFP journalist said. Police first cordoned off the entrance to the building with tape and then steel gates.

Bullet casings were found at the scene, the Dutch news agency ANP quoted police as saying.

Police spokesman Steven van Santen said an “investigation was in progress”.

“A forensic examination is underway. This concerns traces on the bullet holes and the bullets,” van Santen told AFP.

The motive for the shooting was not known.

The Saudi embassy confirmed none of its staff were hurt, and said it had urged 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 an Arabic statement posted on Twitter.

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

A Dutch foreign ministry spokesperson said the ministry “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 at which diplomats from France, Greece, Italy, Britain and the United States were in attendance.

At least two people were wounded.

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