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2 sought in Saudi after shootout, bomb belt seized

16 September 2015, 18:57

Riyadh - Police in Saudi Arabia arrested two suspects and were hunting two others who fled following shootouts and raids that netted a bomb belt, they said on Wednesday.

The gunfire occurred in separate districts of Riyadh on Tuesday evening as officers pursued an investigation into "deviant groups," the interior ministry said in a statement.

The term is used to refer to Islamic extremists, although the ministry did not specifically mention any group.

But the raid comes after a series of mosque attacks this year claimed by the Islamic State group that killed dozens of people in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Also read: 5 Nigerian pilgrims die in Saudi Arabia -- NAHCON

Two suspects opened fire and threw a grenade at police trying to arrest them after cordoning off a residential area in Monsia district, the ministry said.

Ahmed al-Zahrani, 21, and Mohammed al-Zahrani, 19, were detained.

At the second location, a Saudi coffee lounge in Riyadh's Dharma district, the suspects tried to flee in a vehicle after spotting the police.

"They then heavily opened fire at the security officers," who returned fire and disabled their vehicle.

The suspects then "seized a citizen's vehicle by force and took off in it."

During searches of the two locations, officers found a bomb belt "ready with explosives", a laboratory, several automatic rifles and pistols, ammunition, and "sketches of targeted areas," the ministry said.



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