25 Mar 2010

Saudi arrests 'al-Qaeda militants'

5:58 am on 25 March 2010

Saudi Arabia says it has arrested 113 al-Qaeda militants, including suicide bombers who had been planning attacks on energy facilities and security forces.

The interior ministry says the 58 Saudis and 55 foreigners were organised into three independent groups.

Authorities believe two of the cells were planning suicide attacks on oil and security facilities in the Eastern Province, home to the world's biggest oil refinery.

These cells included 12 people who were suicide bombers, a ministry spokesman said.

The ministry said the groups were backed by al Qaeda in Yemen.

Weapons, cameras, documents and computers were seized with the suspects.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was formed in January 2009 by a merger between two regional offshoots of the Islamist militant network in neighbouring Yemen and Saudi Arabia, the BBC reports.