Saudi Police arrested 20 Ethiopians for rioting on the Makkah-Jeddah highway on Friday. The riots began around 11 am when Ethiopian nationals started throwing stones at passing motorists and security forces, causing damages to 14 cars and injuring 4 Saudi nationals.
Shots were fired into the air by security personnel to control the situation and the highway was closed temporarily. The rioting started when several Ethiopians who arrived in buses tried to stop speeding cars and hurled stones, when they could not enter the detention center in Shumaisi.
The Shumaisi detention center accepts expatriates arrested by security forces for violating labor laws, but does not accept those who surrender voluntarily.
Director of public relations at the Makkah police department, Col. Badr Al-Saud, said that the rioters were arrested and taken to the detention center and that measures are being taken to prevent recurrence of such incidents.