INTERNATIONAL

Major terror plot, says Saudi Arabia

Atul Aneja

Plan to attack holy sites outside Makkah

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has said it has foiled a major terror plot ahead of this year’s Haj pilgrimage.

According to Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki, “Security forces have foiled a plot to carry out a terror attack on holy sites outside Makkah.”

He added that the group was nabbed three days before the Haj season began. The Minister said the suspects were a part of a “deviant group” — a term used by Saudi authorities in reference to Al-Qaeda.

The arrests were conducted in several cities across the Kingdom.

Nearly 30 lakh persons, including more than 1,00,000 Indians, have participated in this year’s largely incident- free pilgrimage, which wound up on Friday.

Saudi Arabia has been battling the Al-Qaeda in recent years. Last month, the Interior Ministry announced that 208 terror suspects, including 32 financiers had been arrested.

Besides, Saudi authorities claimed that they had foiled an attempt by an eight-member cell to attack a major oil facility in the eastern provinces. Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest oil producer and most of its oil is located in the eastern provinces.

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