First Published: 2004-06-30

Three killed in deadly clashes in Riyadh

Saudi policeman, two suspected Islamic militants killed in heavy armed clashes in Al-Quds area.


Middle East Online

Saudi police still hunting Islamist militants

RIYADH - A Saudi policemen and two suspected Islamic militants were killed in a heavy exchange of gunfire Wednesday in Riyadh, a police officer on the scene said, revising an earlier death toll of four.

Another three security men were wounded, one of them seriously, along with two civilians, the policemen said, correcting an earlier statement that two security men were among four people killed.

The clashes, involving five militants, broke out in the capital's eastern Al-Quds area. An AFP correspondent there saw two of the vehicles which had been carrying the militants and which had been destroyed.

Security forces were still pursuing a third vehicle, the policeman said.

Witnesses earlier said they saw four bodies at the site of the clashes while two helicopters hovered overhead.

The clashes broke out after security forces discovered a house used by the five suspects in the capital's King Fahd neighbourhood.

The suspects were followed as they left the house in three cars, the policeman said.

Stocks of arms and ammunition were seen being taken out of the house.

Wednesday's was the first reported incident of unrest in the kingdom since authorities declared an official amnesty for Al-Qaeda supporters on June 23.

Muslim extremists have staged a wave of deadly attacks in the kingdom since May 2003, more recently targeting Westerners.

Al-Qaeda extremists were offered the amnesty if they turned themselves in within a month and were warned that those who did not would face a harsh crackdown.

The amnesty guarantees personal safety and the dropping of all charges for those who repent. It reserves the right of individuals harmed by terror acts to either seek redress through the courts or waive any claims.

The offer of a pardon came close on the heels of the June 18 killing of Al-Qaeda's local chief, Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, and three of his henchmen after websites posted photos of an American hostage they had beheaded.

One of Saudi Arabia's most wanted men, a renegade former non-commissioned army officer, on Monday became the second Islamic militant to take advantage of the amnesty offer.

Othman Hadi al-Maqbul al-Aamri, 37, gave himself up at his home village of Beni Amr after two years on the run.

An interior ministry list of Saudi's most wanted has seen 11 of the 26 listed militants either killed or jailed in a massive crackdown that has also seen hundreds arrested and an escalation of violence.

Saudi Arabia has sought to assure Westerners that their security was a top priority for officials, who have recently multiplied words of comfort to expatriates fearful the spate of attacks is not over.

"We will assume our responsibilities to ensure their safety and security the same as the security and safety of our citizens," said Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal after meeting Western ambassadors on Sunday.

He underlined that the Saudi government was prepared to allow foreigners to carry guns.


Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Abbas calls US ambassador to Israel 'son of a dog'

UN says Turkey security measures 'curtail human rights'

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

Netanyahu says African migrants threaten Jewish majority

US Senate votes on involvement in Yemen war as Saudi prince visits

What a ‘limited strike’ against Syria’s Assad might mean

Natural gas in eastern Mediterranean fuels increasing tensions

Erdogan tells US to stop ‘deceiving’, start helping on Syria

IS controls Damascus district in surprise attack

French ex-president held over Libya financing allegations

NGO says Israeli army violating Palestinian minors’ rights

Human rights chief slams Security Council for inaction on Syria

US warns Turkey over civilians caught in Syria assault

Saudi crown prince keen to cement ties with US

Erdogan vows to expand Syria op to other Kurdish-held areas

Kurdish envoy accuses foreign powers of ignoring Turkish war crimes

Morocco authorities vow to close Jerada's abandoned mines

Israeli soldier sees manslaughter sentence slashed

Turkey insists no plans to remain in Afrin

Cairo voters show unwavering support for native son Sisi

Forum in Jordan explores new teaching techniques

Gaza Strip woes receive renewed attention but no fix is expected

Kurds, Syrian opposition condemn Afrin looting

36 jihadists killed in Egypt’s Sinai

Israel arrests French consulate worker for gun smuggling

Pro-Turkish forces loot Afrin

Israel prepares to demolish Jerusalem attacker's home

Saudi crown prince says his country to seek nuclear bomb if Iran does

Arab women artists in diaspora focus on identity and loss

Tunisia’s Central Bank targets inflation but may hurt growth prospects

Libya’s health system reflects a larger humanitarian crisis