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RIYADH: A man opened fire at a private school in the Saudi capital on Wednesday, the US embassy in Riyadh said, adding that no children were present at the time.

“There has been a shooting at Kingdom School in Riyadh,” the US mission said on its Twitter account.

“School (is) closed, no children present. Please avoid area,” the Twitter post said, without elaborating on casualties or motives behind the shooting.

By late afternoon an AFP photographer observed only one police car entering the school grounds, which were quiet, and nobody answered the school’s main phone line.

Most schools in Saudi Arabia are on holiday.

Sabq online newspaper, which is close to Saudi authorities, said police were seeking a suspect who fled the shooting which appeared to be the result of “previous disagreements.”

Kingdom School is part of a group owned by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Co whose diversified investments include Citigroup and Time Warner.

The school, located in central Riyadh, opened in 2000 and offers boys’ and girls’ education from kindergarten to high school, according to its website.

The school has both a Saudi curriculum and an international programme leading to an American diploma.

Kingdom Holding says on its website that the schools group has more than 4,000 students and 300 teachers at various locations in Riyadh. — AFP

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