Saudi forces shoot down 'toy drone' near royal palaces

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No casualties were reported in the incident, a senior Saudi official told Reuters, noting King Salman was not present in the palace at the time.

In 2015, the Gulf kingdom banned drones "of all types and sizes" from operating in Saudi skies without a special permit from the General Authority of Civil Aviation.

Drone users will have to obtain permission "from police in their neighborhoods" to fly the aircraft "for the purposes assigned to them in permitted sites", a spokesperson was quoted as saying. The official added that the government will introduce rules to regulate the use of recreational drones.

The Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh became the scene of an unusual shooting as the security forces stationed near the palace of King Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud opened fire on a tiny toy drone, according to media reports.

Videos were posted online showing gunfire in the palace's neighbourhood.

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The 32-year old prince has also overseen a major military shake-up and royal purge as he consolidates power much beyond wielded by previous rulers.

Last October a gunman shot dead two Saudi guards and wounded three others at the gate of the royal palace in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, according to the interior ministry.

The attacker, who was identified by the interior ministry as Mansour al-Amri, a 28-year-old Saudi national, was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle and three Molotov cocktails.

Sunday's strikes are the latest in a series of rebel bombardments on Saudi territory.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir has repeated this offer to the United States with the hope that this time Washington will take it more seriously.