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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 May 2018

Former teacher kills two staff at Saudi school

No children were present when the shooting happened at Kingdom School, which is part of the GEMS global network of schools

The main entrance of the Kingdom school in Riyadh. A gunman killed two staff at the private school in the Saudi Arabian capital on Wednesday. AFP / FAYEZ NURELDINE
The main entrance of the Kingdom school in Riyadh. A gunman killed two staff at the private school in the Saudi Arabian capital on Wednesday. AFP / FAYEZ NURELDINE

Riyadh // A “disgruntled” ex-employee of a Saudi private school shot dead two staff members and injured a third on Wednesday, the school’s chairman said.

No children were present when the shooting happened at Kingdom School, which is part of the GEMS global network of schools and is owned and operated by Kingdom Holding Company, whose chairman is billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Police were hunting a suspect of Iraqi origin, a security source said, describing the suspect as a teacher.

The man “who was dismissed from the school four years ago on the basis of anger issues and an unstable personality” opened fire at the administration offices, Talal Al Maiman, the school chairman, said.

He gave no further details of the victims or suspect but called the gunman “disgruntled”.

The security source identified the victims as a Saudi and a Palestinian.

“A teacher took a gun and then he went to the school room and he killed the assistant school principal and one of the employees,” said the source.

Investigators were treating the case as a criminal matter and “not a terrorist incident,” the source said.

Saudi media spoke of “disagreements” between the suspect and victims.

“There has been a shooting at Kingdom School in Riyadh,” the US embassy said in a Twitter post, urging people to avoid the area.

“School closed, no children present,” it added.

Most schools in Saudi Arabia are on holiday.

Kingdom School is part of a group owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding whose diversified investments include Citigroup and Time Warner.

The school, which has several buildings, opened in 2000 and offers boys’ and girls’ education from kindergarten to high school, according to its website.

The school has both a Saudi curriculum and an international programme leading to an American diploma.

Kingdom Holding says on its website that the schools group has more than 4,000 students and 300 teachers at various locations in Riyadh.

In February last year a teacher reportedly killed six people at an education department office in the southern region of Jazan.

*Agence France-Presse