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Al Arabiya TV: Saudi Troops Killed Two Saudi Al-Qaida Leaders

An Arabic television report says two of Saudi Arabia's most wanted militants were among seven suspected al-Qaida members killed in a fierce gunbattle in a northern part of that country.

The Al Arabiya report said the two men, identified as Abdulkarim al-Mejjati and Saud Homoud al-Oteibi, were on a Saudi list of 26 most wanted militants. Saudi authorities published the list in December 2003.

On Monday, a Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman said the militants were killed during two days of battles in Al-Ras, about 300 kilometers north of Riyadh. He said the fighting erupted Sunday when security forces surrounded a neighborhood and began searching for people linked to terrorist activities.

The Saudi government began an anti-terror crackdown in May, 2003 after al-Qaida linked militants began a series of deadly attacks on government facilities and Western targets in the kingdom.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.