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Suspected Al-Qaida militants held in Saudi Arabia

Saudi security personnel have arrested 44 suspected Al-Qaeda members in raids conducted in different parts of the kingdom over the past sixty days.

world Updated: Aug 20, 2009 17:08 IST

Saudi security personnel have arrested 44 suspected Al-Qaeda members in raids conducted in different parts of the kingdom over the past sixty days.

Huge recoveries, including heavy and light weapons, explosives and ammunition burried in desert and in private houses has been made in the raids, interior ministry spokesman Mansour-Al-Turki said.

He said all except one of those arrested were Saudi nationals. The raids were conducted in the provinces of Riyadh and Qassim.

Turki said those arrested had received training in handling heavy and light weapons as well as in making explosives and forging documents.

The interior ministry official said, among the arms confiscated were included 17 AK-47 rifles, electronic circuits to be used in remote controlled explosives and 22 live ammunition boxes in raids conducted between July 9 and August 2 this year.

Turki said, as many as 96 remote controlled electronic explosives were found burried in the valley in Qassim province and the haul included 39 machine guns.

He said, investigations were still undergoing, though preliminary questioning had revealed that the group was using charity work to finance their criminal activities.