France tells nationals to avoid Saudi Arabia

27th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 27 (AFP) - France on Monday warned its citizens to avoid travelling to Saudi Arabia after one of its nationals working for a defence company was gunned down at the weekend in what the kingdom's authorities described as a "terrorist attack".

PARIS, Sept 27 (AFP) - France on Monday warned its citizens to avoid travelling to Saudi Arabia after one of its nationals working for a defence company was gunned down at the weekend in what the kingdom's authorities described as a "terrorist attack".  

"Given the increase in attacks since April and in the context of an elevated terrorist threat, travellers planning to go to the kingdom are advised to delay their trip for the moment except for imperative professional reasons," the French foreign ministry said in a statement posted on its website.  

Early Sunday, a 45-year-old technical assistant for the French defence electronics group Thales, Laurent Barbot, was shot twice with an automatic rifle and was found dying at the wheel of his four-wheel-drive vehicle which was blocking a road in the commercial capital of Jeddah.  

The Saudi interior ministry called the murder "a terrorist attack".  

The killing was the latest in a series of shootings targeting Westerners but the first involving a French national in the kingdom, which has been battling a deadly wave of terror attacks since May 2003 blamed on Al-Qaeda sympathisers.  

French foreign ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous said 4,500 French citizens had registered with the embassy and consulates in Saudi Arabia.  

He added that they had been told to "abide by very strict security rules established by the embassy and which are adapted to circumstances."  

The rules include avoiding major shopping centres, beaches and desert trips, and making sure vehicles were kept under watch when parked on streets and kept free of objects which might identify the owner, according to the website.

 

© AFP

Subject: French News

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