RIYADH: Two suspects blew themselves up Saturday during a firefight with security forces in the Red Sea city of Jeddah and a third was arrested in another operation, the interior ministry said.
Security forces raided a suspected “terrorist” hideout used for making explosive belts and other devices in a southern district of Jeddah, a spokesman for the ministry said in a statement.
Two men holed up inside the premises shot at security forces, who returned fire, according to the statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
The suspects refused to surrender and “blew themselves up by detonating their explosive belts”, it said, confirming an earlier statement by Jeddah authorities.
Pictures posted on Twitter showed a fire at the site of the shootout.
The interior ministry spokesman also said that a third suspect was arrested on Saturday in a security operation targeting another Jeddah neighbourhood.
The suspect, a Saudi national, is believed to have had links to the two men who blew themselves up.
He was arrested along with a Pakistani women whom he identified as his wife, the spokesman said.
Earlier this month, security forces shot and killed two suspects including an explosive belt maker during a police operation in the north of Riyadh. Both were Saudi citizens.
At the end of October, authorities said they had foiled a plot to bomb a football stadium in Jeddah during a football match and dismantled two “terrorist” cells linked to the Islamic State group.
Eight suspects were arrested in the operation, including two Pakistanis, a Syrian and a Saudi.
Since late 2014, IS has claimed a series of bombings and shootings against Shiites in the Sunni-majority kingdom, as well as against security forces.
Saudi Arabia is a member of the US-led international coalition that has been battling IS in Syria and Iraq.—AFP