They had stopped to rest. “3 French travelers slain in Saudi desert.” from AP:
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Three French travelers were killed by gunmen Monday in the Saudi Arabian desert when they stopped their car to rest on the side of a road leading to the holy city of Medina in an area restricted to Muslims only.
Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki said it was too early to determine whether the attacks were terror-related. Saudi Arabia has been waging an intense campaign against al-Qaida militants since a wave of suicide attacks on foreigners in the kingdom in 2003.
The travelers were resting on the side of a road about 10 miles north of Medina when gunmen fired at their car, instantly killing two of the men. The third man died later after he was taken to a hospital, and the fourth Frenchman was in serious condition at an area hospital, al-Turki said.
Then AP speaks of “the Prophet Muhammad” in capsule form, with no caveat such as “Muslims believe that…”:
The area the group was traveling in is restricted for Muslims only. Non-Muslims are barred from the area around Medina and neighboring Mecca, the holiest cities in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad was born in Mecca, where he began spreading the message of Islam, until he fled to Medina. From Medina, he spread Islam until he died and was buried in the city. Muslims perform the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and usually visit Medina as well.