RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced yesterday it will allow women in the ultraconservative kingdom to serve in the armed forces as it embarks on a broad program of economic and social reforms. The move is the latest in a series of measures aimed at increasing the rights of women in the kingdom, even as rights groups accuse Riyadh of cracking down on women activists. “Another step to empowerment,” the foreign ministry wrote on Twitter, adding that women would be able to serve as private first class, corporal or sergeant. – AFP