Two US citizens are among seven Saudi writers and bloggers who were detained in Saudi Arabia on Friday, CNN reported.
A US State Department official confirmed to the news outlet that the kingdom had arrested two US citizens.
“We can confirm that two US citizens were arrested in Saudi Arabia. We have already engaged the Saudi government in this regard. Due to privacy considerations, we have no further comment.”
The arrests reportedly targetted activists and included Salah al-Haidar, a dual Saudi-US citizen who is the son of activist Aziza al-Yousef, as well as US citizen, writer and physician Bader al-Ibrahim, sources told CNN.
The kingdom also continues to hold in detention US citizen Walid Fitaihi, who was detained in November 2017.
“We are providing US citizen Walid Fitaihi consular services, and we have raised his case with the government of Saudi Arabia,” the State Department official told CNN.
“We are in close communication with Mr. Fitaihi’s family, and will continue to offer them all possible assistance. We have raised and continue to raise his case on a consistent basis with the Saudi government.”
Relations between Saudi and the US have cooled after Washington raised questions about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was a Washington Post columnist.
Khashoggi was killed at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate on October 2 killing.