Saudi woman killed defying driving ban

A Saudi woman was killed in a car crash in the capital Thursday as she defied the kingdom's long-standing ban on female driving, local media reported.

The woman, in her 20s, lost control of her vehicle and crashed into the wall of a youth club in Riyadh, according to the website of the local Al-Jazeera daily.

The car caught fire and she died, it said.

Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.

However, they usually get behind the wheel in desert regions.

Thursday's deadly accident was not the first of its kind involving a woman driver. In January 2012, a female driver was injured and her companion killed when their car overturned in the northern Hael province.

And in November 2010, a woman driver was killed along with three of her female passengers in a similar accident.

Women in the kingdom who have the means hire drivers while others depend on the goodwill of male relatives.

Women's rights activists make frequent calls to challenge the ban.

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