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Sat 11 Jul 2009 11:54 AM

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Saudis arrest five Qaeda suspects near Mecca

The men were suspected of being low-level operatives of Al Qaeda's 'logistical activities'.

Security forces have arrested five suspected Al Qaeda militants in the western Saudi city of Taif, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.The five men were suspected of being low-level operatives involved in "logistical activities" for Al Qaeda, ministry spokesman General Mansour Al Turki told AFP.

But he added that further investigation was needed. "How far they are involved, how dangerous it was, still has to be determined," he said.

The ministry did not say when the men were detained in Taif which lies about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from the holy city of Mecca.

The announcement comes 10 days after government forces captured a wanted man during a shootout in the central city of Buraidah. The man was reportedly a financier of Qaeda operations who also helped move people in and out of the country.

On Wednesday the government announced it had sentenced one man to death and an unspecified number to prison terms as it completed the trials of 330 people accused in the 2003-2006 Al-Qaeda campaign of armed assaults and bombings across the country.

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