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Senior Al-Qaida Militant Killed in Saudi Clash

Saudis stand watching one of 36 men wanted for acts of terror on Saudi Television

Officials in Saudi Arabia say security forces there have killed the leader of the al-Qaida terrorist group in the kingdom.

Saudi security forces fought a fierce gun battle with wanted Islamic militants in an upscale neighborhood in Riyadh, the capital. Officials say the leader of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network in Saudi Arabia was killed. He was identified as Younis Mohammad Ibrahim al-Hayari, a Moroccan.

The battle erupted when security forces conducted two simultaneous raids to capture suspects. Four were arrested, and weapons, ammunition and documents were seized.

Israeli counter-terrorism expert Dan Schueftan says it is a limited victory in the war on terror.

"It does not mean that, in the immediate future, Saudi Arabia will be out of the scope of terrorism, or that a major blow has been dealt to terrorism, because what we have here is a very, very long struggle," he said.

Saudi Arabia has been hit by a series of major terrorist attacks during the past two years targeting foreigners. The man killed topped a list of 36 most-wanted militants sought in connection with those attacks.

"It will not change the picture of terrorism, and even if you kill all 36 of them, there will be others to replace them," he added.

Mr. Schueftan says Saudi Arabia has taken some important steps on the security front to crush Islamic militants, but he believes the radical brand of Islam practiced by al-Qaida remains strong.

Saudi officials have warned in recent days that more terrorist attacks in the kingdom are being planned.