Fresh clashes in Mecca

The leaders said they would strike with an “iron fist all those who may attempt” to undermine the security of the country and its citizens.

 

The pledge came shortly after

armed clashes erupted for the second time in 24 hours in the holy city of Mecca.

 

In the past two days security forces have conducted two major raids on hideouts of suspected dissidents. The resulting clashes claimed the lives of five armed dissidents.

 

Prince Abd Allah said events that took place in the kingdom are “a war that must be fought by all methods and means”.

 

“Those criminals have not refrained from carrying out their plots in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, but with God’s assistance, and the alertness of the people and the security forces, their plot has been foiled”, he added.

 

The operations were carried out in different areas of the holy city. Four other suspects were wounded and at least six were arrested, including two from Chad, an Egyptian and a Saudi.

 

The suspects were planning to carry out an imminent attack, according to the interior ministry.

 

The ministry did not give a specific number of those wanted, saying they were several dozens.

 

Two security men were killed and five officers and four civilians were wounded in Saturday’s clashes, a ministry statement said.

 

Seventy-two locally made bombs of various sizes, several automatic rifles, guns, ammunition, communication devices, chemicals for making bombs and masks were seized by the police.

 

It was the third time in two weeks that clashes have erupted between armed dissidents and Saudi security forces.

 

They came as part of a crackdown on suspected Islamists following suicide bombings in Riyadh last month.