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Two Saudi militants killed in police raid

Pictures released by Saudi Press Agency show two suspected Islamic State militants killed in Riyadh yesterday. – AP

RIYADH, Jan  7, 2017 (AFP) – Saudi security forces on Saturday shot  and  killed two suspected jihadists including an explosive belt maker during a  police operation in the north of the capital, the interior ministry said.

Suspect Tayeh al-Saihari, who had been wanted by authorities for his  alleged involvement in jihadist attacks, was spotted in a house in a  northern  Riyadh neighbourhood, a ministry spokesman said.

In a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, the  spokesman  said that Saihari was with Talal al-Saidi, also wanted by the authorities on  suspicion of belonging to jihadist groups.

Security forces surrounded the house at dawn and ordered the  suspects to  surrender but they refused and opened fire on the police who then  launched an  assault, killing them both, he said.

The interior ministry said two explosive belts “ready to be activated”  were  found in the house, as well as a homemade bomb and material that could  be used  to make explosives.

It said that Saihari had “prepared the explosive belts that were used in  suicide attacks”, including the deadly bombing of a headquarters of the  special  forces in 2015 and near the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina last July.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack that killed  15 people.    But no one claimed responsibility for a July 2016 attack in Medina in  which  four security guards were killed.    Since late 2014, IS has claimed a series of bombings and shootings  against  Shiites in the Sunni-majority kingdom, as well against security forces.

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