Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Saudi Arabia woman driver arrest

Saudi Arabia map

A woman has been arrested in Mecca in Saudi Arabia for driving a car.

Police gave chase after she was spotted at the wheel of a 4x4 car, the English daily Arab News reported. She was arrested after hitting another car.

Women are prohibited from driving on all public roads in Saudi Arabia, a ban that has triggered several high-profile protests by women's rights activists.

The woman's name and nationality have not been announced. Only Muslims are permitted in the holy city of Mecca.

Police arrested the woman, in her 20s, early on Wednesday morning after the car she was driving crashed into another, said Maj Abdul Muhsin al-Mayman, spokesman for Mecca police.

He did not identify the name or nationality of the woman but said she was caught driving a Lexus.

"The woman tried to escape when she saw a police car and in the process hit another car, which was slightly damaged," he said.

The spokesman said the woman driver was handed over to the Prosecution and Investigation Commission for investigation.

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