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Homeland Security

Saudi Police, Militants Clash Near Mecca

By VOA News
21 April 2005

Two militants and two members of the Saudi security forces were killed Thursday in a clash near the holy city of Mecca.

Saudi officials say the clash began when militants fired on police at a checkpoint outside Mecca. Police are reported to have pursued several suspects to nearby buildings.

Earlier this month, Saudi military officials said they killed some 14 militants, including two senior al-Qaida operatives, during heavy fighting northwest of Riyadh. Officials said it was the most intense battle since security forces launched a crackdown on al-Qaida-linked militants in the kingdom in 2003.

Thursday's attack came as Saudi men in Mecca voted in local elections in the third and final round of the kingdom's nationwide poll. Voters in Jeddah, Taef and Medina also cast ballots.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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