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Saudi Arabia arrests two terror suspects amid global alert

Saudi Arabian officials have arrested two men suspected of planning suicide attacks days after a global terror alert led to diplomatic post closures. Deadly US drone attacks in Yemen have increased following the alert.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday they had arrested two men, one from Yemen and the other from Chad, on suspicion of planning terror attacks.

"The two suspects may have been implicated in the threats against Western embassies in the region," Saudi General Mansour al-Turki was quoted as saying.

The two were arrested in late July after they exchanged information on social media about the intended attacks, said the Saudi Press Agency, quoting an Interior Ministry official.

Drone attacks in Yemen

Meanwhile, in Yemen, where the US embassy remains evacuated, US drone attacks have killed at least 12 al Qaeda militants. The increase in drone attacks coincided with a terror alert that has led to diplomatic posts closing in the Middle East and Africa.

The first drone hit a car with suspected al Qaeda militants in the district of Wadi Ubaidah, according to a security official. The second attack took place in the al-Ayoon area in the south, the official said, and the third attack killed suspects in the al-Qutn area.

According to US military officials 34 suspected militants have been killed in drone attacks in the last two weeks.

Terror alert

In the past week, the US and Britain have evacuated their diplomatic staff from Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, after details about a planned attack came to light. Washington temporarily closed 22 diplomatic posts across the Middle East and Africa.

Officials have reported that the embassy closures were prompted when a secret message between al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri and Nasseral-Wahishi, the leader of a Yemen-based offshoot of the terrorist group, was intercepted. The two were allegedly discussing plans for a major attack.

Yemeni authorities have also said they discovered an al Qaeda plot to attack foreign embassies in Sanaa, as well as international shipping.

Drone strikes have become frequent in Yemen in recent weeks, with attacks being concentrated in remote, mountainous areas where al Qaeda’s top five leaders are believed to be hiding.

The United States does not discuss individual strikes but has acknowledged its drone program in Yemen.

Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale declined to comment Thursday about the attacks. The CIA also refused to comment.

tm/ipj (AP, AFP, Reuters)