Police in the holy city of Mecca in western Saudi Arabia killed two suspected militants and foiled a imminent terrorist attack on 3 November, said an Interior Ministry official. Police said that the two men were killed in a shoot-out at a suburban house in the city, which intelligence officials had been monitoring for some time. The two men were killed when shots were exchanged as four men tried to flee the area in two cars. Police found a large cache of weapons including rocket-propelled grenades, automatic rifles and explosives when they searched the house. Riyadh said that it would now increase security in and around Mecca and Medina during the holy month of Ramadan, which is due to end towards the end of November.
Saudi security forces have been fighting a high-profile campaign against suspected terrorists since the 12 May suicide bombings at an expatriate housing compound in Riyadh, which prompted US accusations that the authorities were not doing enough to combat terrorism (MEED 21:10:03).