Skip to main content

Saudi forces kill IS 'partisans' in Mecca raid

Four 'wanted' men killed in gun battle, according to reports in local media
The Grand mosque and the Kaaba in Mecca (AFP)

Saudi Arabia said it carried out an operation against Islamic State (IS) fighters in Mecca on Thursday.

"The security authorities succeeded in their operation against a number of Daesh (IS) partisans holed up at a recreational area in Mecca," the state TV station Ekhbariya said in a news flash.

The al-Okaz newspaper reported that Saudi forces surrounded a group of men in the Wadi Noman area south of the city.

Four "wanted" men were killed in a gun battle, the paper reported.

A Saudi soldier was on Friday reported killed in the operation.

A spate of shootings and bombings have taken place in Saudi Arabia in recent years, primarily targeting the kingdom's Shia minority, whom IS regards as heretics.

In another two-day security operation that ended at the weekend, two IS suspects were killed and a third was wounded in southwestern Bisha province.

Mecca was the site of one of the earliest armed Islamist insurgences in 1979 when a group of militants led by Juhayman al-Otaybi took over the Grand Mosque, eventually leading to a siege resulting in more than 100 deaths.