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Page last updated at 23:06 GMT, Tuesday, 7 April 2009 00:06 UK

Saudi arrests 'al-Qaeda members'

Screen grab from February's Interpol alert on website
It is not yet clear if the suspects were linked to an Interpol search

Saudi Arabia says it has arrested 11 al-Qaeda militants who were planning attacks on police installations, armed robberies and kidnappings.

The interior ministry said the Saudi suspects suspects were operating from a hide-out near the border with Yemen.

Their mountain hideout was equipped with food and cameras and had a stockpile of arms, the statement said.

State TV footage showed the seized weapons included automatic machine guns, explosive belts and ammunition.

"They were almost ready to start with acts against the kingdom," interior ministry spokesman General Mansur al-Turki told the AFP news agency.

"They were not arrested at once, but taken one by one, until we were certain we had all of them," he said.

The ministry did not elaborate on whether the group were connected to a list of 85 men thought to be planning attacks against Saudi Arabia.

That list, released by Saudi officials in February and followed up by an Interpol alert, included 83 Saudis and two Yemenis.

Some of those on the list were thought to have links to al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan, and they were thought to be planning attacks on oil and security facilities in Saudi Arabia.



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