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insurgency in Saudi Arabia

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Yusuf. View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 April 2005 at 4:01pm

Gun battles continue in Saudi Arabia
Sunday 03 April 2005 8:36 AM GMT

 

Saudi security forces have killed eight insurgents in an ongoing siege in the northern town of al-Ras, according to security sources.

Aljazeera said clashes were still going on as insurgents hurled grenades at police from their hideout in al-Ras in the al-Qassim region, 350km northwest of the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Witnesses said gunfire could still be heard on Monday morning in the neighbourhood of al-Ras which security forces had surrounded since early Sunday. Officials described the insurgents as "terrorists".

Aljazeera has learned that at least one Saudi police officer was shot dead on Sunday and another 15 had been wounded by midday.

Other sources said a total of 35 security personnel had been wounded.

Suspects killed

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia's al-Ekhbariya television broadcast comments from Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abd al-Aziz, amir of the al-Qassim region, confirming that three suspected fighters had been shot and killed. 

 

"They were asked to surrender, but those people are known not to listen," Faisal told the television station. He described the armed men as "terrorists" but did not say which organisation they belonged to.

The firefight erupted about 8am (0500 GMT) in the city of al-Ras after security forces surrounded several wanted men in a neighbourhood called al-Jawazat, a security source in Riyadh said.

The gun battles began early on Sunday morning and dragged on into the night, Reuters quoted a security source as saying.

Several security vehicles were damaged.

Al-Qaida link?

Another security source earlier said the clash erupted as security forces raided a house where "suspected members of the deviant group [official terminology for suspected al-Qaida sympathisers] were believed to be hiding".

Witnesses said they saw at least three people being carried away from the house on Sunday morning, but it was not clear whether they were wounded or dead.

Speaking to Aljazeera by phone from the scene in al-Qassim, a Saudi witness Sulayman al-Siwayan said there was heavy security presence in the al-Ras neighbourhood. The place was swarming with special forces, police and civil defence personnel.
 

"One or two helicopters can be seen hovering over the area and explosions and sporadic shootout can be heard from time to time," he said.  

 

Roads leading to the area have been closed and the neighbourhood isolated, al-Siwayan said.

 

The security forces have done an excellent job controlling the situation without allowing many casualties, he said.

 

Sensitive location

 

A medical source at a local hospital told Aljazeera that 51 security forces personnel had arrived for treatment, but al-Siwayan said the number was an exaggeration. He put the number of security casualties at around 15.

 

When asked about the identity of the armed men, he said: "They are people with no belief or doctrine. They do not belong to any group but to the devil." 

 

The security operation took place next to a girl's primary school which had 94 students and 13 teachers, a factor that complicated the situation, al-Siwayan said.

 

"Fortunately, all have been safely evacuated," he added.

The incident came less than a month after a suspected al-Qaida member was arrested along with two of his companions, after a heavy gun battle, on 13 March in the Red Sea city of Jedda.

Violence blamed on al-Qaida since May 2003 has killed 90 civilians, according to official figures. Thirty-nine members of the security forces and 92 fighters have also been killed.

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/E9323C62-CAE2-4FC6-A8 E8-B1ED0D3693AF.htm

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Yusuf. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yusuf. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2005 at 4:11pm

Assalamu alaikum,

to top it off, the radical websites Al-Tajdeed (www.tajdeed.net) and Al-Qal'a (www.qal3ati.biz) just featured "An Urgent Letter to the Rulers of the Emirates" that warned that there was "no room for doubt that the punishment of God will befall your country."



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