An Islamic militant whom the Saudis said they killed last week has purportedly released an audio tape on the Web in which he scoffs at reports of his death and government claims to be winning the war on terror.
The militant, Mohammed Abdel-Rahman Mohammed al-Suwailmi, a 23-year-old Saudi, also said his group had been helped by the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, but gave no specifics.
Al-Suwailmi was one of five militants whom the government said was killed in a three-day battle with security forces in the eastern city of Dammam last week, the AP reports.
But on Monday, six days after the battle ended, the Interior Ministry corrected its facts to say it was not Mohammed al-Suwailmi who died but his brother Ahmed. Mohammed is on the kingdom's list of Most Wanted terrorist suspects, but Ahmed is not.
"The Saudi Interior Ministry claimed that I have been killed during the confrontations in the city of Dammam. Thank God, I am alive," Mohammed Abdel-Rahman Mohammed al-Suwailmi said in an audio recording released on the Internet.
"This is only a proof of the impotence and weakness of the apostate government," al-Suwailmi said.
The authenticity of the recording, posted on an Islamic Web site, could not be verified. It appeared to have been made on Sunday, a day before the Interior Ministry's correction.
The battle in Dammam was one of the fiercest in months. Four policemen were killed. It ended on Sept. 6 when security forces finally stormed the seaside villa that the militants had taken over.