Two al-Qaida militants, one police officer killed in eastern Saudi clashes |

Two al-Qaida militants, one police officer killed in eastern Saudi clashes

Associated PressRIYADH, Saudi Arabia – Police fought running gun battles with al-Qaida militants in an eastern Saudi Arabian city on Sunday in clashes that killed two extremists and a police officer, a Saudi official said.The violence raged across Dammam, about 250 miles northeast of the capital Riyadh, sending frightened residents running indoors.An Interior Ministry statement said security forces were carrying out a security operation “against a number of elements affiliated to the ‘deviant group,”‘ a term that usually refers to al-Qaida’s branch in this kingdom.State-run Saudi TV aired footage of what it said was the body of a slain militant slumped on a street while wearing a traditional white Arab gown stained with blood.Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya satellite TV reported that militants fired a rocket propelled grenade and hurled hand grenades at security personnel and set one police vehicle on fire.Since May 2003, Islamic militants have carried out suicide bombings and kidnappings and have regularly battled security forces. The attacks, which have tended to target Westerners and housing complexes were Westerners live, have been blamed on the al-Qaida terror group and its allies.Vail, Colorado

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