Saudi Arabia: 18 gunmen killed in three days of clashes
A three day armed stand-off between Saudi security forces and armed men ended on Tuesday with 18 gunmen dead, Saudi officials said.
Special forces stormed a villa in which the fighters had barricaded themselves for two days following a firefight on Sunday in al-Ras, located some 355kms northwest of Riyadh.
The dead are reported to include two leaders of an al-Qaeda cell whose names appear on the country's most-wanted list.
Reports quoting unnamed security sources have identified them as Saud al-Otaibi, a Saudi, and Moroccan Abdel Karim al-Mojati, who is believed to have masterminded the Casablanca bombings in May 2003.
Over 30 members of the Saudi security forces were wounded and six gunmen were arrested.
In a statement read out on Saudi television, Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah congratulated the security forces, who had "demonstrated their courage in facing up to terror acts. We thank each one of them for their heroic deeds.''