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Saudi Security Forces Arrest Suspects in Suicide Bombing - 2003-11-11

Saudi Arabia's security forces have arrested several suspects in Saturday's suicide attack on a Riyadh housing complex. The kingdom says it will deal harshly with suspected Muslim militants involved in such crimes.

The arrests were made during the past two days, according to diplomatic sources and the pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat. The newspaper also reported that two people were in the car packed with the explosives that blew up in the Riyadh housing compound, killing and wounding mostly Arab residents from other countries.

Saudi King Fahd has vowed to "confront terrorism and deal forcefully with such criminal and wicked acts."

Saturday's suicide bombing was the second in six months to attack residential compounds in Riyadh. A triple suicide bombing killed 35 people in May at Western housing complexes.

Saudi and U.S. officials have blamed the attacks on the al-Qaida network, whose leader, Osama bin Laden, was born in Saudi Arabia.

Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, who is in the region for talks focused on terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iraq, has offered Saudi Arabia expanded anti-terrorism cooperation.

In Cairo, on the last stop of his Middle East tour, Mr. Armitage refuted the widely held belief in the Arab world that solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would end international terrorism.

Many Arab officials, including some at the Arab League where Mr. Armitage was speaking, have said Arab despair over Palestinian suffering is directly linked to the emergence of Militant Islam.