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Saudi Arabia Arrests 44 Suspected Militants

Saudi authorities have arrested 44 suspected militants for allegedly planning to carry out terrorist attacks.

The Saudi Interior Ministry said Wednesday the suspects are part of a "deviant group," a phrase often used by Saudi officials to refer to radical Islamist groups such as al-Qaida.

Ministry officials say all but one of the detainees are Saudi nationals and that some of them received training in Saudi Arabia and abroad to learn how to prepare explosives, forge travel documents and use weapons.

Authorities also seized weapons from the suspects including machine guns, electronic detonators, and ammunition.

Officials say the group financed its terrorist activities by charitable donations, but did not elaborate.

The arrests were made during a security campaign in July and early August.

Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. The country has waged a campaign against militants since 2003 after a series of attacks that targeted Westerners and the oil industry.

The Saudi government has arrested hundreds of suspects in the past year, and in February issued a list of wanted Saudi militants believed to be overseas.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.