Saudi security forces killed two militants in a fierce exchange of fire in Riyadh and detained the family of the suspected leader of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network in Saudi Arabia, officials said yesterday.
An Interior Ministry statement said three other militants were hurt in the clash in the capital on Tuesday night. It did not say whether Saleh al-Awfi, believed to be al-Qaeda's leader in Saudi Arabia, was among those killed or wounded.
Three policemen were also wounded in the latest fighting between government forces and al-Qaeda backers bent on toppling the pro-US leaders of the world's biggest oil exporter.
The ministry statement said the fighting broke out in north Riyadh's busy King Fahd district, where security forces were investigating a site used by supporters of "the deviant and corrupt ideology" -- a reference to al-Qaeda sympathizers.
They came under intense fire from gunmen armed with bombs and rocket-propelled grenades, said the ministry statement, which was published by the official Saudi Press Agency.
Security forces returned fire at the gunmen, "killing two of them and wounding three, who were arrested, as well as detaining the family of the wanted man Saleh al-Awfi, made up of his wife and three children," the statement said.
During the fighting a second group of armed men opened fire on security forces before escaping, the agency said. Police found weapons, explosives and documents at the site, it added.
Some 90 policemen and civilians, many of them foreigners, have been killed in more than a year of shootings and suicide bombings claimed by al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia.
Awfi is believed to have taken over leadership of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia after the killing last month of Abdulaziz al-Muqrin, who was shot dead just hours after his group announced they had killed a US hostage. Muqrin himself only took over operations after the killing in March of another leader, Khaled Ali Haj.
In those three months, suicide bombers blew up a Riyadh security headquarters, gunmen shot dead five Westerners in the Red Sea port of Yanbu and went on a killing spree in the Gulf city of Khobar, and militants killed three Americans in Riyadh.
On June 23 the government declared a one-month amnesty for militants who turn themselves in. Al-Qaeda has rejected the offer, which has almost expired.
Just four men have so far surrendered to authorities -- two in Saudi Arabia, one in Syria and a fourth, Khaled al-Harbi, in Iran. Harbi appeared with bin Laden in a videotape praising al-Qaeda's Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on US cities.
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
NEW HONG KONG LAW: A visit to Beijing-friendly nations or those with weak judicial systems could leave people at risk of deportation to China, a former MAC official said Beijing could request countries with which it has extradition agreements to deport Taiwanese to China to face criminal charges following the implementation of national security legislation for Hong Kong, a former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official warned yesterday. Some developing countries, and those close to China because of the Belt and Road Initiative, are likely to accommodate Beijing’s requests to extradite Taiwanese to China, said former deputy MAC minister Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺), who served from July 2, 2018, until May 20, and then returned to his former post as an assistant professor of sociology at National Tsing Hua University. While Taiwanese
IN THE PIPELINE: The Ministry of National Defense said the sale, expected to take effect in one month, would be the seventh arms sale under the Trump administration The government yesterday thanked the US for approving the possible sale of a US$620 million missile repair and recertification package to Taiwan. The US Department of State has approved the sale of a package to recertify Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in Washington for an estimated US$620 million, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a news release on Thursday. The agency has delivered the required certification to the US Congress, notifying it of the possible sale, it added. The TECRO had requested to buy an upgrade package that would support an operational
INJURED: Several KMT lawmakers fought their way through DPP members into the legislative chamber, while others lay on a driveway to block Chen Chu Scuffles broke out at the Legislative Yuan yesterday as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers again occupied the legislative chamber, stymieing a report by Control Yuan presidential nominee Chen Chu (陳菊) and a question-and-answer session. The KMT lawmakers showed up at the back door of the chamber at about 5am and tried to enter, but were stopped by several Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers who were guarding the door. Scuffles broke out as the KMT lawmakers tried to force their way through the door, injuring legislators on both sides. KMT Legislator Hung Mong-kai (洪孟楷) tackled DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), while DPP Legislator Wu