Saudi executes Yemeni over Spanish theatre group stabbing

RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi Arabia yesterday executed a Yemeni man convicted over a knife attack on a Spanish theatre group, the Interior Ministry said, amid a controversial push to ease decades-old restrictions on entertainment.

The man, identified as Imad al-Mansouri, had been sentenced to death for the November 11 attack during a live performance in Riyadh, which state media linked to militant group al-Qaeda and which Madrid said left four performers wounded.

“The death sentence was carried out in Riyadh,” the ministry said in a statement released by the Saudi Press Agency.

The assailant was accused of going on a stabbing spree during a musical in the capital’s King Abdullah Park, one of the venues hosting the two-month ‘Riyadh Season’ entertainment festival.

It was the first such assault since the country began easing restrictions on entertainment.

The state-run Al-Ekhbariya television said the attacker took orders from an al-Qaeda leader in Yemen, but so far there has been no claim of responsibility from the group.