McDonald's torched in Saudi attack

  • From: "" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 09:55:53 -0000

An unidentified man walked into a McDonald's fast food restaurant in
Arabia on Wednesday, doused it with petrol and set it alight, the
Minister has confirmed.
The attack on the restaurant took place near a United States Air force
in Kharj province, south-east of the capital Riyadh, on Wednesday.

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

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
miles) away from the massive Prince Sultan airbase - home to 4,500 US
and an undisclosed number of warplanes.

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

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