Saudi Arabia: Three to eight Islamists killed in 24 hour clash
Three to eight suspected Islamists were killed after over 24 hours of armed clashes with Saudi security forces north of Riyadh, a provincial governor said.
"Three wanted men were killed and members of the security forces were injured," Prince Faysal ben Bandar ben Abdel Aziz, governor of Al-Qassim province, told Saudi Al-Ekhbariya television late Sunday.
However, on Monday it was reported that Saudi security forces have killed eight gunmen in the northern town of al-Ras. Witnesses told Reuters gunfire could still be heard on Monday morning in the neighbourhood of al-Ras.
The clashes had started at around 8:00 am (0500 GMT) Sunday after an attempted raid by security forces on a house where the wanted men were holed up in the city of Al-Ras, which is located in Al-Qassim province.
A security source earlier said that the clash took place as security forces raided a house where "suspected members of the deviant group (official terminology for suspected Al-Qaeda sympathisers) are believed to be hiding."
Meanwhile, Saudi authorities executed three Saudi men convicted of assassinating several officials two years ago, Saudi sources said.
The three were beheaded in public Friday in the northern Saudi city of al-Jawf where they carried out their "crimes," the Interior Ministry said. After the executions, authorities displayed the executed men in a public square outside a mosque, tying their bodies to poles on top of which were placed their heads, The AP reported.
The men executed Friday - Hisham bin Awwad, Mohammed bin Awadh and Amjad bin Abdul Aziz - were convicted in the 2003 killings of a deputy governor, a religious court judge and a police lieutenant.