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Saudi shootout kills '5 militants'

Saudi forces battled suspected militants in gun battle

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Saudi security forces gather at a road leading to the house where five men were killed.

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(CNN) -- Saudi security forces shot and killed five suspected militants Monday in a two-hour gun battle in an eastern suburb of the capital, Riyadh, the Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry told CNN.

A sixth suspected militant was arrested elsewhere in the capital.

According to the ministry, it appears the suspects were linked to Friday's thwarted suicide car bomb attack on a major oil processing facility in eastern Saudi Arabia. (Full story)

Security forces combed the area around where the shootout took place and are checking to see if any of the suspected militants are on the country's most-wanted list, the Interior Ministry said.

Two cars carrying an unknown number of would-be bombers tried to enter the side gate to the Abqaiq plant near Dammam Friday, but detonated their explosives after security guards fired on them, according to statements from Saudi's interior and oil ministries.

The Interior Ministry on Monday linked two of the suicide bombers to al Qaeda after checking their DNA.

A Saudi security source said that Saudi authorities were able to trace the men killed in the shootout Monday through closed circuit television (CCTV) footage from the Abqaiq facility.

In addition to the two pickup trucks that were destroyed on Friday -- both were crudely painted over to resemble Aramco vehicles -- there was a third car that was performing surveillance for the attack.

Security services went through the CCTV footage, spotted it, got the license plate number, and traced it.

Through previous Internet surveillance of the group, said the Saudi security expert, they had a general idea of the people who were involved in the planning of the attack, but no specific location or advance warning.

The incident did not affect the facility's operations, said Saudi Oil Minister Ali bin Ibrahim al-Naimi.

It happened about 1.5 km (about 1 mile) away from the plant's main entrance, he said.

Abqaiq is a major oil installation on the Persian Gulf, processing two-thirds of crude oil pumped from Saudi wells.

According to some estimates, one out of every five barrels of the world's oil exports runs through the facility.

It is operated by Aramco, the state-owned oil company that operates all of Saudi Arabia's oil facilities. Saudi Arabia is the largest exporter of oil in the world and has one-quarter of the world's oil reserves.

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