(MENAFN - Arab News) Nine young women at Asir's public orphanage aged between 20 and 23 started a riot in the building on Sunday burning records and assaulting the director of the orphanage after being barred from taking part in future trips for misbehavior.
Asir police and security forces quickly intervened to take control of the situation.
Sheikha Hizam director of the social and women's affairs office in Asir said the current crisis at the nursery is not the first it is facing.
'The conduct of a few however is not representative of the other 80 orphans at the facility' she said.
'These girls have often instigated riots and attacked caretakers at the orphanage despite the fact that these people care for them and look after them.'
'The orphanage has transferred them to the Southern Women's Charitable Society in Abha who has welcomed them and is caring for them with support from Princess Noura bint Muhammad the society's founder.'
Despite such efforts the girls have not yet responded positively due to lack of social experience said Hizam. 'They have continued to vandalize property and riot. Such behavior cannot go unpunished.'
According to Hizam the problem began during a recent trip to Jeddah during Eid Al-Fitr.
'The orphans were divided into two groups for the trip' she explained 'but there were sues with the first group as soon as they arrived in Jeddah.'
The girls had disappeared while at the amusement park and caretakers only managed to find them at dawn. Even Jeddah police had to intervene in another incident at the mall where the girls had also failed to show up she said. 'They were penalized on their return to Abha and denied involvement in future trips which is what led them to riot.'
Asir Gov. Prince Faisal bin Khaled was informed about the issue and five girls were transferred to the local care center upon his request.
'We did not intend for matters to get to this stage' said Hizam. 'Our main concern is to understand the psychological issues these girls are suffering from but we cannot compromise the safety of our staff and the other orphans.'
Ali Asmari Asir's Social Affairs Ministry spokesman confirmed that the girls had rebelled against the punishment they had been dished out for misbehaving on the trip.
Investigations are under way under the direct supervision Prince Faisal who will decide what is an appropriate form of punishment for such behavior he said.
The Social Affairs Ministry provides care and support to orphans who are given housing clothes food and psychological and medical health care.
Col. Abdullah Al-Shaathaan Asir police spokesman said no one was injured in the incident.