BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Persian Pashto Turkish French
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Middle East  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 08:53 GMT
McDonald's torched in Saudi attack
McDonald's restaurant
McDonald's has been subject to an Arab boycott
An unidentified man walked into a McDonald's fast food restaurant in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, doused it with petrol and set it alight, the Interior Minister has confirmed.

The attack on the restaurant took place near a United States Air force base in Kharj province, south-east of the capital Riyadh, on Wednesday.


It's an attack against the property of a Muslim, which constitutes an unacceptable act that we will fight using all possible means

Prince Nayef bin Abdel Aziz
The minister, Prince Nayef bin Abdel Aziz, told the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that there were no casualties, but the restaurant was gutted by the fire.

The assailant, who was armed with a pistol, then fled and the police launched a manhunt in the area, which is still under way.

Prince Nayef said the suspect would be apprehended, put on trial and given a "deterrent sentence".

Anti-American sentiment has been building in Arab countries because of perceived US support for Israel against the Palestinian uprising and the looming threat of an attack on Iraq.

Local ownership

A broad range of companies, including US fast food chains, have suffered losses in Arab countries in the last two years thanks to a boycott of US brand names.

However, Prince Nayef was keen to stress that although McDonalds is an American chain the franchise restaurant was owned by a Saudi citizen.

"It's an attack against the property of a Muslim, which constitutes an unacceptable act that we will fight using all possible means," he said.

The owner will be "compensated for all the losses suffered and encouraged to re-open the restaurant rapidly," Prince Nayef added.

The city of Al-Kharj, where the restaurant is located, is 50 kilometres (30 miles) away from the massive Prince Sultan airbase - home to 4,500 US troops and an undisclosed number of warplanes.

Saudi Arabia is one of Washington's strongest Arab allies with close economic and military ties.

See also:

08 Nov 02 | Business
19 Oct 02 | Europe
28 Nov 00 | Middle East
02 Nov 02 | Country profiles
05 Nov 02 | Middle East
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes