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Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009
In pictures: Saudi sandstorm

Sandstorm over Riyadh skyline

One of the most powerful sandstorms in decades hit the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh on Monday.

Sandstorm over Riyadh skyline

The storm lasted for several hours causing flights to be diverted and closing schools.

Men walk through the sandstorm

An eerie glow covered the city's streets and reduced visibility to a few metres in places.

Traffic jam in the sandstorm

There were also big traffic jams as drivers crawled along trying to avoid accidents.

Man with headscarf covering his face

People on the street tried to cover up to avoid inhaling sand, but medics still had to treat some for breathing problems.

Man walks through the sandstorm

Riyadh is used to springtime storms, but residents now face the prospect of removing tonnes of grit and sand from the city.

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