Brig. Fahd bin Amer Al-Ghanam, spokesman o
f the police, said 15 Ethiopians broke into the campus, but security officers managed to control the situation and took them back to the shelter.
Several other Ethiopians, who had gathered outside the shelter, were also told to return. The university campus and buildings were searched thoroughly afterwards to make sure that no one was hiding there.
The Ethiopians said they wanted the Saudi authorities to speed up the deportation process. The Africans did not harm anyone or caused damage to cars and buildings. Issa Muhammad Al-Qaiydi, spokesman of Taibah University, said: “The university administration is in touch with the security forces and the bodies responsible for the shelters to safeguard the assets and people of the university.”
He said the security forces handled the situation well after many Ethiopians gathered under Al-Safiya Bridge in Madinah, where they aired their grievances about the deportation process.
He said security officers transferred them to the expatriate department pending their deportation to their country of origin.
Adnan Al-Mazroue, rector of Taibah University, posted on Twitter that classes at the university were suspended because of problems with the air-conditioning. He denied claims that the university was closed because of security issues.