RIYADH: Unknown attackers tried to set fire to a religious police centre west of the Saudi capital Riyadh in an "intentional" attack, causing no casualties, local media reported on Sunday.
The notorious body, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, is charged with ensuring compliance with the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islamic morality, but is often accused of abuses.
The attack late on Saturday night was "intentional and the assailants targeted the electricity meter outside the centre" to try to start a fire, deputy spokesman for the commission in Riyadh, Mohammed al-Shuraimi, told Al-Watan daily.
"None of the workers at the centre were hurt and no major damage was caused" by the attack, he said, adding that the security services had launched an investigation.
The ultra-conservative kingdom this year set new limitations on the powers of members of the commission, such as interrogating suspects and pressing charges.
But religious police continue to prevent women from driving, enforce a ban on public entertainment and force all businesses, from supermarkets to petrol stations, to close for prayers five times a day.