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.


Iran airs "confessions" of researcher facing death for spying

Mayor of Libya's Misrata assassinated

Macron sees war on IS in Syria will be won in February

Assad blasts US-backed Kurdish fighters

Christmas in Jordan dimmed by Jerusalem crisis

Turkey prosecutor seeks release of German reporter

Kuwait likely to face political uncertainty

Lebanon arrests suspected killer of British embassy worker

Israel targets Hamas site in Gaza

Turkey slams Austria ‘discrimination’

Iran's schools suffocate in smog

Tunisia elections delayed

Istanbul summit strong on the rhetoric, weak on concrete steps

Israeli air traffic halted due to strikes

Two Danes stabbed by man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Gabon

Morocco’s Islamists elect new leader, walking away from predecessor’s populism

UN considers rejecting Trump Jerusalem decision

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists