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Mon 2 Apr 2007 11:45 AM

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Saudi border guard gunned down

A drug smuggling raid in the Kingdom left a Saudi Arabian border guard dead.

A Saudi border guard was killed in a clash with smugglers who left behind more than three tonnes (6,600 lb) of hashish before getting away near the border with Yemen, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

The smugglers, travelling in three vehicles, opened fire with machine guns wounding two other border guards in the shootout on Saturday, the state news agency SPA quoted a ministry spokesman as saying.

The agency did not clarify which country the smugglers came from. But it said the guards were from the Maatif border post which is near the porous border with Yemen, a conduit for smuggled drugs and for militants sympathetic to al Qaeda.

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