[QODLink]
Archive
Saudi forces kill top al-Qaida leader
Saudi security forces are claiming they have killed the kingdom's al-Qaida leader, Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin, and two other dissidents believed to have beheaded US engineer Paul Johnson.
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2004 04:32 GMT
Adel al-Jubeir told reporters operations were ongoing
Saudi security forces are claiming they have killed the kingdom's al-Qaida leader, Abd al-Aziz al-Muqrin, and two other dissidents believed to have beheaded US engineer Paul Johnson.

"Yes it is correct, he (Muqrin) was killed with two other senior militants," a Saudi security source said. He said Muqrin was one of three killed in the al-Malazz area of the capital, Riyadh, in a shootout.

The source said Muqrin and his men were killed while they were trying to dispose of Johnson's body. He said forces had combed four Riyadh areas before honing in on a building where the militants were holed up.

To establish identities, one Saudi official said forensic tests would be conducted on three bodies.

Grief

"Johnson's beheading has gripped the Saudi public in a sense of grief," Saudi journalist Khaled Salih al-Shashri told Aljazeera.

"The killing of al-Muqrin would raise our morale after the gruesome murder of the US victim Johnson."

Regional experts believe killing al-Moqrin, 31, would be a coup for the Saudi government, which has been under intense pressure to halt a wave of attacks against Westerners in the kingdom. 

A second operation was under way in the nearby al-Quds neighborhood, where security forces had surrounded an area in a hunt for suspects, Adel al-Jubeir, diplomatic counsellor to Saudi Crown Prince Abd Allah bin Abd al-Aziz, told reporters in Washington.

US warning

Meanwhile, the US government on Friday warned its citizens in the Gulf region to exercise caution after Johnson's execution in Saudi Arabia. 

"The US government has received information that extremists may be planning to carry out attacks against westerners and oil workers in the Persian Gulf region, beyond Saudi Arabia," the State Department said in a communique. 

"US citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance
and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness."

Source:
Aljazeera + Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.