Saudi forces kill insurgents after blasts

Hours after two car bomb attacks rocked the Saudi capital Riyadh, local security sources said they had killed seven insurgents in a raid against anti-government elements.

    Saudi Arabia has been battling a wave of opposition attacks

    Saudi security forces raided a house in northern Riyadh late on Wednesday night and killed seven people suspected of involvement in two car bomb attacks in the capital.

     

    Police chased the seven fighters in the northern districts of Maseef and Taawun, a security source said.

     

    "The militants fled to a villa in the Taawun district, which was stormed by security forces who killed the seven," he added.

     

    A car bomb had earlier exploded near the interior ministry, followed by a similar attack outside a security camp.

    There was no immediate word about casualties.

    Witnesses reported hearing two large blasts near the

    ministry building as well as gunfire. The blasts were felt up to 2km

    away, they said.

    A few minutes later, a second car bomb exploded outside a camp for special security forces in the city after attempting to crash into the base, sparking a shootout with guards, sources said.  

    Earlier in the day, Saudi police killed a suspected opposition fighter

    in a shootout in Riyadh and captured two wanted men after

    a gun battle in the Red Sea city of Jedda, state television and

    security sources said.

    It is not clear if the men were on the list of 26

    most wanted

    al-Qaida fighters.

    Political violence

    Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, has been

    battling a wave of opposition attacks since

    May 2003, in which about 170 people have been

    killed, including Westerners

    .

    Earlier this month, al-Qaida fighters stormed the US

    consulate in Jedda, killing five non-American staff in the first

    attack on a Western mission in Saudi.

    Bin Ladin has called for attacks
    on oil facilities in the kingdom

    An audio tape attributed to Saudi-born al-Qaida leader Usama

    bin Ladin praised the attack, in which four fighters were

    killed, and called for strikes on oil facilities in the kingdom.

    Opponents of the ruling House of Saud say it is dictatorial and corrupt

    .

    But the Saudi government accuses its opponents of "terrorism" and the desire to provoke instability in the country.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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