By Arab News
In two preemptive raids carried out simultaneously in Mecca and Jeddah on Thursday, security forces clashed with suspected militants planning to carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia, the interior ministry said.
In the first raid on a rest house in Wadi No’man, east of Mecca, at dawn on Thursday, members of the security forces and militants were involved in a firefight, resulting in the death of two militants, while two others with suicide belts blew themselves up. No one else was injured.
The ministry had received information about the presence of several militants a few kilometers from security installations at the holy sites. The area was immediately cordoned off at dawn and surrounded. The men had opened fire at the security forces and thrown grenades.
Mecca governorate announced the success of the security operation on its Twitter account, without releasing further details, saying that the ministry would release information at a later stage.
It is believed that the Mecca cell is linked to Oqab al-Otaibi, a suspect arrested recently in connection with the Daesh cell that carried out a suicide attack on a mosque used by members the Special Emergency Forces in Asir in August 2015.
At the same time, the authorities carried out another raid in Jeddah where two men were allegedly hiding and planning attacks.
Both were arrested and are under investigation for their links to a extremist groups.
An Interior Ministry source said that the two successful operations had been carried out based on information gathered from a two-day raid in Bisha that ended on Sunday.
In the operation, two Daesh suspects were killed and a third wounded.