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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Saudi security forces deploy helicopters in clash

DUBAI, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Saudi security forces deployed helicopters in a raid against gunmen after a shootout in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah on Thursday, Al Arabiya television reported.

Ambulances ferried the wounded away from the scene of the fighting in the city's Ruwais district, the Saudi-owned channel said in a series of news flashes.

State-owned al-Ikhbariya television said a fugitive had been surrounded in an eastern district.

An Interior Ministry official said he could not comment immediately on the reports.

Saudi Arabia, fighting a violent campaign by al Qaeda supporters, said on Dec. 2 it had detained 136 suspected Islamic militants including a would-be suicide bomber.

Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz said on Monday the militants, who included foreigners, were planning a series of suicide bombings and assassinations.

Al Qaeda supporters began a campaign to bring down the U.S.-backed monarchy in May 2003 with suicide bombings against Western housing compounds in Riyadh.
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