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Saudi says foiled plot to bomb World Cup qualifier

Des supporters saudiens à Jeddah, le 11 octobre 2016 lors du match de qualifications pour le Mondial-2018 face aux Emirats
Authorities also dismantle two 'terrorist' cells linked to Islamic State group

Saudi authorities said Sunday they had foiled a plot to bomb a football stadium during a World Cup qualifying match and dismantled two "terrorist" cells linked to the Islamic State group.

The interior ministry said in a statement that four suspects from each cell had been arrested.

One of the cells had planned to park a bomb-laden vehicle outside Al-Jawhara stadium in the Red Sea city of Jeddah during an October 11 World Cup 2018 qualifying football match between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the ministry said.

Its members were two Pakistanis, a Syrian, and a Sudanese, the ministry said, without providing further details of the plot or arrests.

The other group had been plotting attacks against security forces and its members had received orders from an IS leader in Syria, the ministry said.

Its alleged members were based in Shaqra, northwest of Riyadh, and are all Saudis, the ministry statement said, adding that the suspects had all confessed.

Six other Saudis were detained and were being questioned over alleged links to the cell, it added.

Since late 2014, IS has claimed a series of bombings and shootings against Shiites in the Sunni-majority kingdom, as well against security forces.

IS group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called for attacks against Saudi Arabia, which belongs to the US-led coalition bombing the jihadists in Syria and Iraq.


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