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Saudi Arabia says it disbanded terror cell trained by Iran

September 28, 2020

Authorities arrested 10 people and seized weapons and explosives. Riyadh said three of those held had been trained to make explosives, while the other seven had ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Saudi special forces display some of their skills and equipment during a ceremony outside Mecca in 2011
Image: Hassan Ammar/AP Photo/picture-alliance

Saudi Arabia on Monday said it broke up a terrorist cell that had received training from Iran's Revolutionary Guards, arresting 10 people and seizing weapons and explosives.

The arrests were made last week after a probe uncovered the suspects' identities and two hideouts: a house and a farm, according to a statement made by the Presidency of State Security, a Saudi intelligence body.

Read moreBahrain foils Iranian-backed terrorist attacks: reports

The spokesman for the Presidency of State Security said in a statement that three of those arrested had been trained in Iran and had received "military and field training including on how to make explosives" between October and December 2017 at sites linked to the Revolutionary Guards in Iran.

The other seven suspects were linked to the group in different roles, according to the statement, which was carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Read moreYemen Houthi rebels claim attacks on Saudi Aramco

Saudi Arabia did not reveal the identities of those arrested "for the interest of the investigation" as authorities seek to gather more information about their activities and connections both within and outside of the kingdom.

According to the statement, Saudi security forces seized more than 5 kilograms of gunpowder, 17 packages containing chemicals, and military uniforms. They additionally confiscated listening devices, computers, knives, Kalashnikov machine guns, rifles, pistols and ammunition.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are embroiled in several proxy wars in the region, including in Yemen. Riyadh has blamed Iran for an unprecedented missile and drone attack on the kingdom's oil facilities last year — an accusation that Iran denies.

Read moreSaudi Arabia vs. Iran: From 'twin pillars' to proxy wars 

lc/rs (Reuters, dpa)