RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi authorities ordered the evacuation of Kingdom Tower, a landmark in the capital Riyadh, as a precaution on Wednesday after a bomb threat which turned out to be a hoax, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.
“We confirm that this was a hoax ... The building and sites immediately close to it are being evacuated as a precautionary measure,” Mansour al-Turki, Interior Ministry spokesman for security affairs, told Reuters.
“An unknown person called an employee at Samba (Financial Group) bank’s offices in the tower to say a bomb was placed in his car” he added.
Bomb threats are rare in Saudi Arabia.
Turki said earlier the anonymous caller told a Samba employee that the bomb was placed in a car in the parking lot of the bank’s main headquarters in Riyadh.
“Two Samba employees called (the police) about this matter and gave conflicting information,” Turki said.
Majid al-Seif, a Samba spokesman, declined to comment.
Islamist militants launched a violent campaign to destabilise the U.S.-allied monarchy in 2003. The violence has subsided since 2006 after nearly 200 people were killed, including foreign residents, security forces and militants.
Reporting by Souhail Karam; Editing by Jon Boyle