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Last Updated: Monday, 28 June, 2004, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
Saudi militant 'gives himself up'
Crown Prince Abdullah reads King Fahd's statement offering amnesty to militants
The Saudi royal family has offered an amnesty to militants
One of Saudi Arabia's most wanted militants has handed himself in under an amnesty offered by the authorities, his family and security sources said.

Othman al-Amri appeared on a list of the kingdom's most wanted militants and has been on the run for two years.

The Saudi regime has ordered a crackdown on Islamist groups blamed for a series of attacks.

It announced a one-month amnesty last week. Mr Amri is said to be the second man to hand himself in.

Mr Amri, 37, surrendered in his home village of Beni Amr, his family said.

Spared execution

He was taken to the city of Jeddah for questioning, an official said.

King Fahd has decreed that those who turn themselves in during the amnesty would be spared execution.

Those involved in attacks might still go on trial if their victims or their relatives demanded it, but would not be put to death, the king said.

The first to take advantage of the offer was Saaban al-Shihri.

Mr Shihri is said to be close to Mr Amri, though he did not appear on the list of the country's 26 most wanted suspects.

Leader killed

The Saudi interior ministry says 11 of those on the list have either been killed or jailed.

A spate of suicide attacks and gun battles has seen at least 85 people killed, including several police and many foreigners.

On 18 June security forces killed the senior al-Qaeda figure in Saudi Arabia, Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, after his group posted pictures of a beheaded American hostage on a website.

King Fahd's statement said once the month-long amnesty was up, "We swear by God that nothing will prevent us from striking with our full might, which we derive from relying on God."



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