2007 News Story

Saudi authorities arrest suspects in killing of French expatriates

Saudi authorities have arrested suspects in the February 26 killing of four French expatriates in western Saudi Arabia, and two additional Saudi nationals are wanted for questioning, the Ministry of Interior announced today.

In today’s statement, the Ministry also provided more details about the attack. Three French families were en route to Madinah when they became lost in a desert area about 56 miles from the city. After several attempts to find the main road the families stopped to rest in the desert. While they were stopped, they were approached by a green four-wheel-drive Nissan Patrol.   

According to the survivors, two people then got out of the car and opened fire on the French group with machine guns. Two men were killed at the scene, and two others died of their wounds in the hospital.  The remaining people in the French party, three women and two children, were unharmed.

Saudi authorities rushed to the scene immediately upon being informed of the attack. An intensive investigation resulted in strong evidence that led to the arrest of some suspects, the Ministry said.

In addition, two Saudi citizens are wanted for questioning related to the incident. Abdullah Sayer Moawadh Al-Mahamadi and his relative Nasir bin Lateef Al-Blowi have been asked to surrender themselves to authorities today. If the two individuals fail to do so, they will be considered wanted by authorities, the Ministry said. In addition, anyone who aids or harbors Al-Mahamadi and Al-Blowi will be considered an accessory. A reward of up to $1.86 million is offered for information about their whereabouts.