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'Terrorists' shot dead in Mecca


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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Two Islamic militants have been shot dead by Saudi police after they tried to flee a gun battle in the holy city of Mecca.

Authorities were quoted by state media as saying they had foiled a terrorist plot after a cache of weapons and false identification papers were found.

The incident happened around two buildings in Mecca's al-Share'a neighborhood at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) Monday.

Police tried to negotiate with the gunmen after surrounding the buildings, but the group targeted police with handmade explosives and Kalashnikov rifles and police returned fire, the ministry said.

As the gunmen tried to escape in two cars, an occupant in each was shot and killed. The ministry did not say how many members of the group there were. One policeman was slightly injured.

The Saudi government also did not say whether the "terrorist cell" was connected to al Qaeda, or whether it had anything to do with the May attacks in Riyadh.

A cache of weapons and bombs were found inside the car.

Fire arms, including Kalashnikov rifles, hand grenades, rocket-propelled grenades and material to make explosives were also found in the raided premises. Passports, identification cards, and flyers were also discovered.

-- CNN's Caroline Faraj contributed to this report


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