Riyadh raid: Two al Qaeda men shot dead, head of slain US hostage found in freezer
The head of slain American hostage Paul M. Johnson Jr., who was kidnapped and beheaded by al Qaeda activists in Saudi Arabia last month, was found in a raid on the house of the kingdom's al-Qaeda chief, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.
Authorities said the head was found as Saudi security forces raided the home of Saleh Mohammed al-Aufi.
In a statement, broadcast on Saudi al-Ekhbariya television, the Interior Ministry said the head was located in a freezer in the apartment. The statement said the rest of the body was not found.
Johnson, a 49-year-old engineer who had worked in Saudi Arabia for more than a decade, was abducted June 12 and a few days later was beheaded.
Earlier on Wednesday it was reported that Saudi security forces killed two armed men and wounded three others in the Riyadh raid.
"While the security forces were conducting the required investigations at a residence, suspected of being used by a deviant group, at one of the thickly populated quarters of Riyadh on Tuesday, they were attacked by various kinds of weapons including bombs and grenades," said on Wednesday an official statement by the Saudi Interior Ministry.
The statement, quoted by the SPA, added that family members of Al-Aufi were detained following the shooting incident. The detained included Al-Aufi's wife and his three children. It was not clear if Al-Aufi himself was among the dead or wounded.
At the time of the shooting between the Saudi security men and al Qaeda activists, another group of armed men came from a place outside the site of the shooting in an attempt "to distracts the security forces, and help their encircled colleagues, but it was firmly confronted by the security men," the statement elaborated.
Later, the members of this group fled, and the security men were still pursuing them on Wednesday. Three of the security men were slightly injured at this incident. Meanwhile, a quantity of weapons, explosives and various documents were captured. (albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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