DUBAI (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said on Monday it had arrested 13 individuals in connection with planning attacks in the kingdom, a day after security forces said they had thwarted an attack north of the capital, state news agency SPA reported.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attempted attack on a state security building in Zulfi, a small city about 250 km (155 miles) northwest of the capital.
Security forces have said they killed four alleged Islamic State militants who had planned Sunday’s attack. They later raided a nearby rest-house they said the militants had rented for use as a bomb factory, and seized suicide vests, homemade bombs, Kalashnikov rifles and Islamic State publications.
Deadly bombings and shootings have been carried out by Islamic State against security forces and minority Shi’ite Muslims in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter. The authorities crushed an al Qaeda insurgency over a decade ago.
Islamic State and al Qaeda have for years criticised the leadership of the Western-allied kingdom, accusing it of deviating from their strict interpretation of Islam and advancing the interests of their U.S. enemies.
(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Edmund Blair and David Evans)