Egyptian journalist shot dead in Riyadh

July 23, 2010 at 2:36 PM

CAIRO, July 23 (UPI) -- Egyptian authorities are forming a task force to investigate the shooting death of two Egyptians in Saudi Arabia, authorities announced.

Fawzi el-Ashmawi, the Egyptian counselor to Saudi Arabia, said he was cooperating with officials in Riyadh in the shooting deaths.

Three Saudi men are accused of opening fire Wednesday on a journalist and his companion in Riyadh. The two Egyptians were allegedly intervening in a dispute between another Egyptian and three Saudis. The Saudis allegedly opened fire after the dispute was settled, Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm reports.

Ashmawi described the shooting as "grave." He added the event was of particular concern given the low level of violence in the Saudi capital, the report adds.

The counselor noted that he was assured Saudi officials would find swift justice in the case.

The journalist was working as a correspondent for the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Rai.

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