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Sat 26 Sep 2015 02:05 PM

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ISIL suspect, Saudi soldier killed in desert shoot-out

Miltant group has called on supporters to carry out attacks in the kingdom

ISIL suspect, Saudi soldier killed in desert shoot-out

One Saudi soldier and one
suspected ISIL militant were killed in a gun battle in northern Saudi Arabia
between security forces and two brothers wanted in connection with several
attacks last week, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

ISIL has called on supporters to carry out attacks in
Saudi Arabia and string of deadly attacks by its followers has fuelled concerns
about a growing threat of militancy in the world's top oil exporter.

The two brothers were suspects in shootings that killed
two civilians outside a police station and a soldier in separate incidents on
Thursday. They were also wanted for allegedly killing their cousin, a member of
the Saudi security forces.

Abdul Aziz al-Anzi, 18, was killed, while his brother
Saad, 21, was wounded and captured in the shoot-out in the northern desert
province of Ha'il, the Interior Ministry said.

In the worst attacks by the group in the kingdom to date,
two suicide bombers killed 25 people at Shi'ite Muslim mosques in the east of
the country in May.

Saudi authorities say they are cracking down on the
militants and announced in July that it had detained 431 people suspected of
belonging to the organisation.

The Saudi interior ministry also announced on Saturday a district commander and a sergeant in Saudi Arabia's
border guard have been killed in an attack launched from across the frontier
with Yemen.

The men were killed by heavy gunfire from the Yemen side
of the border on Friday after their patrol vehicle was hit by a mine explosion,
the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia has been fighting Iran-allied Houthi rebels
in Yemen for six months and has led a coalition of Arab states on a military
campaign to eject the group from the capital Sanaa and restore the government
from its exile in Riyadh.

Several dozen soldiers from the kingdom have been killed
in clashes along the country's long, rugged border with Yemen, including a
general last month.

Coalition air strikes and ground fighting have killed
over 4,500 people in Yemen since the foreign intervention began on March 26.
UN-backed efforts for a compromise faced long odds as combat ramped up on
Saturday.

Clashes between Houthi forces and those loyal to the
exiled administration raged in the central desert province of Marib and the
southwestern city of Taiz, where residents reported that the two sides duelled
with heavy artillery in civilian areas.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led alliance launched air attacks on
suspected Houthi positions on at least five provinces throughout the country
and on Sanaa.

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