Saudis kill al-Qaeda chief, Madrid bomber
April 11, 2005
Saudi Arabia has said its security forces killed the al-Qaeda chief in the kingdom and the Moroccan mastermind of the Madrid train bombings in a three-day gun battle that dealt a heavy blow to the terror network.
Saud al-Otaibi, "head of the gang" responsible for a string of shootings and bombings since May 2003, and Abdel Karim al-Mejati were among 15 extremists killed in al-Qassim, about 320 kilometres north of Riyadh and viewed as a haven for Islamist militants, the interior ministry said.
The battle, which ended on Tuesday, was the bloodiest in a nearly two-year-old campaign by security forces against Islamist militants in Saudi Arabia.
The interior ministry named 10 of the 15 killed in the battle, and named three of six militants who were captured, five of them wounded.
Saleh al-Oufi, who was alleged to be al-Qaeda’s chief in the kingdom and who, a Saudi dissident group had said, was killed in the clashes, was not mentioned. It was not clear if he was among those whose names were withheld.
All but three on the list, including Oufi, are now confirmed to have been killed or arrested.