x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Five-year-old Emirati boy paralysed after being shot in the back

Saeed Rashid Al Khateri was walking in the rural Suwan area when he was hit by a bullet last week.

DUBAI // A five-year-old Emirati boy was left paralysed after being shot in the back while out walking with his father in Ras Al Khaimah.

Saeed Rashid Al Khateri was walking in the rural Suwan area when he was hit by a bullet last week. Initial news reports suggest the shot came from a neighbouring family celebrating the return of Haj pilgrims.

But a RAK police spokesman said no conclusions had yet been drawn.

“The only thing we know for sure is that the boy was shot in the back,” the spokesman said. “We don’t know yet from which direction the bullet came from. We are conducting an investigation, but so far there have been no arrests.”

Saeed was taken first to Saqr Hospital in RAK and then to Rashid Hospital in Dubai.

“He was paralysed after the bullet hit him in the back,” said Dr Yousef Al Tayir, head of emergency at Saqr Hospital. “He was moved almost immediately to Rashid Hospital.”

A spokesman for Rashid Hospital said Saeed arrived on Thursday, but declined to give further information, as the family had not given their consent.

Firing guns in celebration is still common in the Northern Emirates, despite being illegal.

In March this year, two people died from gunfire at an Emirati wedding.

It is also common across the region. Last Tuesday, 23 people died from electrocution at a wedding in Saudi Arabia, when gunfire brought down a power cable.

In August, a groom in Kuwait died at his own wedding party after being accidentally shot by one of his friends.

mcroucher@thenational.ae