Source Pravda.Ru

Saudi al-Qaida leader killed in clash

Saudi security forces have killed a man in Medina they said was the leader of al-Qaeda on the Arab Peninsula, an interior ministry official told CNN.

The man identified as Saleh Al Oufi was on a Saudi list of 26 most wanted people. The Saudis have since issued a new list with 36 names, but Oufi's death on Thursday would leave one person on the original list still free.

In a statement, a senior official at the Interior Ministry said security forces launched a number of early morning attacks in Riyadh and Medina as King Abdullah prepared to make the first official visit of his reign.

Abdullah, who is expected to visit Medina, later Thursday, assumed the throne of the House of Saud when his half-brother, King Fahd, died earlier this month, reports CNN.

According to CBS he was among two at large members of a list of 26 most-wanted militants that was issued in December 2003. The remaining militant is another Saudi, Talib Saud Abdullah al-Talib, while the others had either been captured or killed.

It was not immediately clear if the other militant killed alongside al-Aoofi or four others slain in Riyadh on Thursday were on a separate list of 36 suspects issued recently.

Interior Ministry officials also said at least one militant was arrested in Riyadh and 10 were detained in Medina, 450 miles west of the capital, where the country's new monarch, King Abdullah, was visiting to meet Islamic clerics and tribal leaders.

According to the Interior Ministry statement, police raided six al Qaeda hideouts in Medina near the mosque where Islam's Prophet Muhammad was buried before coming across a seventh where al-Aoofi and two others were holed up.

"They (the militants) opened fire heavily on the security forces and the pedestrians" before police returned fire, the statement added.

"Investigators were able to prove through verification procedures that one of the two killed is the wanted Saleh al-Aoofi," the statement added.

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