x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Driver killed in car chase with Saudi religious police

RIYADH // A Saudi motorist died and a passenger was wounded on Tuesday when a religious police vehicle crashed into their car during a hot pursuit in Riyadh, a newspaper reported.

A patrol of the police chased two young men travelling in a sedan before crashing into their vehicle, forcing it off an overpass and onto a lower-level road, Al Hayat daily said.

The patrol vehicle fled the scene instantly, the daily said.

“We pray to Allah to forgive the dead,” said Mohammed Al Shraimi, assistant spokesman of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

“Concerned bodies” are investigating the incident, Al Hayat cited him as saying.

Saudi this year set new limitations on the commission, saying the Mutawaa would no longer interrogate suspects or press charges, but must instead refer cases to regular police.

But religious police continue to prevent women from driving, enforce a ban on public entertainment and force all businesses, from supermarkets to petrol stations, to close for prayers five times a day.

* Agence France-Presse