News / Middle East

Mortar Bombs Land in Saudi Arabia Near Iraq Border

FILE - Iraqi Shi'ite tribal fighters deploy with their weapons while chanting slogans against the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, in Baghdad's Sadr City, Iraq, June 13, 2014.
FILE - Iraqi Shi'ite tribal fighters deploy with their weapons while chanting slogans against the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, in Baghdad's Sadr City, Iraq, June 13, 2014.
Reuters

Three mortar bombs landed inside Saudi Arabia on Monday close to its northern border with Iraq, where Islamist militants have grabbed land in a lightning advance, officials said. The mortars caused no casualties but will stoke security fears in Saudi Arabia, which is also facing militants on its southern border with Yemen, where at least 10 people died in an al-Qaida raid into the kingdom on Friday and Saturday.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, said they were still looking into who fired Monday's rounds, which landed near a block of flats outside the northern town of Arar.

Saudi King Abdullah last week said he was stepping up security following the advance in Iraq by the militant Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate on land up to his border. Saudi authorities fear the gains in Iraq made by Islamic State - an al-Qaida offshoot which has shortened its name from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) - could radicalize their citizens.

Bringing down the al-Saud ruling family is one of the main goals of al-Qaida, which wants to establish a cross-border caliphate in Islam's holy city of Mecca, located in western Saudi Arabia.

Hostages

Six Saudi members of al-Qaida, already wanted by authorities, launched their attack on the town of al-Sharurah, close to the southern border with Yemen on Friday, Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Mansour Turki said in comments carried by state news agency SPA on Tuesday.

Two of the militants grabbed 10 hostages and fought their way into a government building where they blew themselves up on Saturday, he added. In all, five of the attackers were killed and one captured during clashes with security forces, the spokesman said. Four border guards were also killed along with one of the hostages, he added.

On Monday al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Yemeni branch of the militant organisation, released photographs it said were of Friday's attack, showing the launch of Grad rockets and the detonation of a truck bomb at the Wadia border post near Sharurah.

In February, as concerns grew over Saudi citizens joining militant groups in Syria's civil war, King Abdullah decreed that travelling overseas to fight would incur long prison sentences and named ISIL and AQAP as terrorist organisations.

In November, a Shi'ite militia in Iraq said it fired six mortar bombs in the kingdom, into a barren patch of desert on another area along 800-kilometer (500-mile) border.

In May Saudi authorities said they had uncovered a militant group with links to both AQAP and ISIL that was planning attacks inside the kingdom.

On Monday a Saudi court jailed four Saudis for travelling to Iraq to fight, and for connections to al-Qaida, SPA reported.  

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid