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Mecca clashes kill 10 - report

Al Qaeda blamed for May 12 bombings in Riyadh that killed 35 people.
Al Qaeda blamed for May 12 bombings in Riyadh that killed 35 people.

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(CNN) -- Five suspected terrorists and five Saudi security officers have been killed in a clash in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, a government-run Saudi newspaper has reported.

Seven of the suspects were arrested after police raided their apartment and found weapons, bombs, and other explosives, the Saudi daily, Okaz, reported on Sunday.

The apartment had been under surveillance by Saudi authorities, who suspected it was being used by a terrorist cell, according to the newspaper's editor.

The incident began on Saturday, the paper said, when one of the suspects -- all traveling in the same vehicle -- refused to stop his car at the request of a traffic police officer, and then opened fire on police after they gave chase.

The car carrying the suspects led police to an apartment building in the Al Khaldiya area of Mecca, where the shootout is reported to have resumed after police forced residents to evacuate the building.

The officers killed five of the men holed up in the apartment, the paper said. Security sources told Okaz that one of the suspects had strapped explosives to his body, but it was not clear if he was killed or arrested.

Saudi Arabia's security forces have cracked down on terror after the May 12 suicide bombings at a housing complex in Riyadh that killed 35 people, including nine of the suspected perpetrators. (World outraged)

U.S. and Saudi officials blame the attacks on the al Qaeda terror network, which has also been blamed for the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000 that killed 17 American sailors.

Unofficial sources say Saudi authorities have arrested several suspects in the bombings, although details have been sketchy.


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