JEDDAH, 4 June 2008 — A man walked in with a machine gun and opened fire on a group of people holding talks to reconcile an ongoing land dispute in Al-Sail near Taif, killing six and injuring seven others on Tuesday, police said yesterday.If this is how intra-Arab peace talks go, imagine how they would treat non-Arabs.
The incident took place during reconciliation talks between two tribes involved in the dispute. The man was arrested shortly after the killing spree. Capt. Turki Al-Shahri, spokesman of the Taif police, yesterday declined to provide more details, citing sensitivities related to the dispute.
According to an eyewitness, the man killed three brothers and another man on the spot, while two others succumbed to gunshot wounds at King Abdul Aziz Hospital in Taif later.
Reconciliation talks are common in Saudi Arabia. They are often conducted — with the help of a government committee or nongovernmental mediators — in situations related to negotiating blood money and settling inter-tribal feuds.
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