March 24th, 2010
12:55 PM ET

Saudis arrest scores planning attacks

More than 100 people accused of planning attacks against police and oil installations have been arrested in Saudi Arabia, an Interior Ministry spokesman told CNN on Wednesday.

Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said 101 people preparing attacks on police officers and 12 members of suicide cells plotting strikes on oil installations were seized over five months.

The Saudis have been cracking down on militants for years. The Interior Ministry is publicizing this latest information to make the public aware of the bad intentions of some visitors to the kingdom.

The incident that sparked the arrests took place in October 2009, the ministry said. Two Saudi nationals disguised as women fired on a police unit, it said. Police returned fire and killed both men before they were able to detonate their explosive belts.

Officers confiscated two extra suicide belts the men had carried with them, along with hand grenades, ammunition and foreign currencies.

Intelligence from the incident led to the discovery that local residents had built terrorist cells made up mainly of residents and some foreigners who had entered the kingdom with the aim of committing suicide attacks against national structures and police, the Interior Ministry said.

The investigation resulted in the arrest of more than 100 people directly linked to the two Saudi nationals in the October incident, the ministry said. Among those are 47 Saudis, 51 Yemenis, one Somali, one Bangladeshi and one Eritrean.

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