Four dead in Saudi raid on ‘terror’ cell

WEB DESK: Saudi police shot dead two suspected militants and two others blew themselves up during a raid near the holy city of Makkah on Thursday, the interior ministry said.

“The terrorists started shooting towards security forces, which they responded to”, leading to the deaths of a pair of suspects while the others “committed suicide by blowing themselves up with suicide belts”, the ministry’s spokesman said in a statement.

Police had surrounded the suspects’ hideout between the holy city of Makkah and the mountain resort of Taif, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) to the east, on Thursday morning when the shootout occurred.

A simultaneous raid occurred on a hideout in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where two people were arrested, “and they are being investigated for their involvement in this cell”, the spokesman said.

“The security operation is still underway. Explosives are being removed and the area combed. And the suicide belts, explosives and weapons at the first location are being dealt with,” the spokesman said.

The raids were part of surveillance and follow-up, “including to what happened in Bisha on Friday”. At that time, two suspects died in a shootout with security forces who foiled a car bombing in Bisha, south-western Aseer region.- AFP