Saudi concert stabbing suspect took orders from al Qaeda in Yemen, says State TV

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Riyadh (Reuters) – A man arrested for stabbing three performers at a live show in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh last month was operating under orders from al-Qaeda in Yemen, state television said on Thursday.

The trial of the suspected assailant, previously identified only as a 33-year-old Yemeni resident, had begun, the broadcaster added.

The Nov. 11 attack occurred at King Abdullah Park, one of several venues hosting a months-long entertainment festival as part of government efforts to open up Saudi society and diversify its economy away from oil.

The victims of the attack, two men and a woman, sustained “superficial wounds” and were stabilised after receiving medical care, state media reported at the time.

Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 against the Iran-aligned Houthis. The U.S.-backed military coalition it leads also carries out operations against al Qaeda’s Yemen branch known as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).