Police have restored calm to Manfouha district, which was marred by violence on Wednesday resulting in the death of a 15-year-old Sudanese student and injury to 17 others.
Manfouha is home to expatriates from several countries including Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia and Chad. There is a heavy police presence in the area.
This was the second time violence broke out in the area. Last Saturday, security forces battled illegal Ethiopian workers who had gone on a rampage apparently in anger over government’s crackdown on visa violators.
A Saudi man and two others were killed during the violence and many injured. According to Riyadh police, 104 cars were damaged in Saturday’s violence.
The Sudanese Embassy described the death of the “innocent” student as a “real tragedy.”
An eyewitness told Arab News that prompt action by the security forces brought the situation under control. However, he said, more than 50 cars were damaged on Wednesday. “They were hurling stones at pedestrians and motorists.”
Another passerby said he saw several vehicles damaged and a motorcyclist assaulted and robbed of all his belongings.
The injured were rushed to King Saud Medical Complex (Shumaisi Hospital) and Al-Emaan Hospital. Most were discharged after medical treatment.
Saudi Red Crescent ambulances were on duty at the site to ferry patients to nearby hospitals.
A police official said the rioters used knives and other instruments to attack their targets. The police made several arrests and would charge the perpetrators with public violence and vandalism, he said.
The violence started at 3:30 on Wednesday afternoon, the official said.
The police moved workers who turned themselves in to a new camp at Exit 9, at the former Princess Noura University, where more facilities are available. Some 23,000 Ethiopians have already surrendered.
For the fifth day in a row, long lines of illegal migrants queued up in Manfouha for buses to take them to repatriation centers.
The presence of heavy security in the area brought commercial activity to a virtual halt, with many shops and restaurants catering to Indians, Pakistanis and Ethiopians remaining shut.