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Saudi security shoots down recreational drone near royal palace

  
  
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  Saudi Arabian security forces said they had shot down a recreational drone in the capital on Saturday after online videos showing gunfire in a neighbourhood where royal palaces are located sparked fears of possible political unrest. The Riyadh police spokesman, quoted by the official Saudi News Agency (SPA), said a security screening point noticed the flying of a small unauthorized recreational drone at 7:50 p.m. local time (1650 GMT), leading security forces to deal with it according to their orders and instructions. There were no casualties, and King Salman was not at his palace at the time, a senior Saudi official told Reuters. "The king was at his farm in Diriya," the official said, naming another area of the capital. Amateur footage circulating earlier on social media showed loud gunfire that lasted for at least 30 seconds, leading to speculation online about a possible coup attempt in the world's top oil exporter and questions about the whereabouts of the king and crown prince. One video showed two police cars parked in the middle of a dark street. Reuters was unable to independently verify the videos' authenticity. Asked about the footage, the official said the drone had been shot down, and added that the government would introduce regulations for the use of recreational drones.
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