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First Saudi women receive driving licences

The surprise move comes as a number of women who had campaigned for the right to drive are under arrest.

Saudi Arabia has issued the first driving licences to 10 women as it prepares to lift the world’s only ban on women driving on June 24.

The surprise move comes as a number of women who had campaigned for the right to drive are under arrest.

The government issued a statement saying the 10 women were issued the licences at the General Department of Traffic in the capital Riyadh on Monday.

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Aziza al-Yousef drives a car in Riyadh as part of a campaign to defy Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving (Hasan Jamali/AP)

The women took a brief driving test before receiving their licences as they had already held driving licences from other countries, including the UK, Lebanon and Canada.

The surprise move comes as four Saudi women’s rights activists who had campaigned for the right to drive remain under arrest, facing possible trial.

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