Five Saudi women detained for driving

There have been small but increasingly bold protests by women who took to their cars over the past year. (FILE)

A Saudi activist says at least five women have been taken into custody accused of defying the men-only driving rule in the ultraconservative Arab kingdom.

The detentions mark the first major backlash by Saudi authorities since a campaign was launched nearly two weeks ago to challenge the driving restrictions.

Dozens of women have since driven through the capital Riyadh and other cities.

Saudi-based rights activist Eman al-Nafjan says police detained a woman Tuesday while driving in Jidda on the Red Sea coast. Al-Nafjan says four other women accused of driving were later detained in the city.

Al-Nafjan spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday. She says there has been no new information on the status of the detainees.

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