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Saudi accused of killing activists

The opposition Islamic Reform Movement says two prominent religious scholars may have been killed in western Saudi Arabia on Wednesday even as Saudi forces said they have arrested  five men suspected of involvement in the recent bombings.

Last Modified: 28 May 2003 07:53 GMT

The opposition Islamic Reform Movement says two prominent religious scholars may have been killed in western Saudi Arabia on Wednesday even as Saudi forces said they have arrested  five men suspected of involvement in the recent bombings.

Stung by US criticism of not
preventing the attacks, the Saudi
government is getting tough
The movement said Saudi security forces stormed the house in which Ali al-Khadiir and Ahmad al-Khalidi were staying in Medina city. However, this has not been independently verified.

The two men are considered the most prominent figures of the jihad movement inside Saudi Arabia, according to the head of the London-based reform movement.

Saad al-Faqih, speaking in an exclusive interview to Aljazeera, said there may be two reasons for the alleged shootings, either they may have tried to resist arrest or “because arresting them would cause trouble for the Saudi security apparatus … killing them may have been deliberate”.     

Other arrests

Security forces, meanwhile, have arrested five men suspected of involvement in the recent bombings in the kingdom, a Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.
   
"Five people were arrested yesterday who are among suspects in the Riyadh bombings and we believe that one of them is a main mastermind of the blasts," he said, adding the arrests were made in Medina. 
    

Saudi forces say they have
captured men behind the blasts
Al-Watan newspaper said the arrests on Tuesday included the capture of the alleged mastermind behind the 12 May attack that killed 34 and extensively damaged three housing compounds in the capital, Riyadh.
       
The Okaz daily said the five were arrested at an Internet cafe in the city and are among 19 men still wanted by local authorities on terrorism charges, following a shoot-out with security forces in Riyadh early this month.
   
Saudi officials were not available for comment on the reports.
   
US and Saudi officials have blamed the Riyadh attacks on Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, though no evidence for this claim has been publicized to date. 
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