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Five Wanted Militants Killed in Saudi Arabia

Saudi forces killed four terror suspects in the port city of Jiddah (search) and a fifth blew himself up when cornered during raids launched in response to a homicide bombing in the capital, the Interior Ministry said Friday.

Four of the five killed were on the government's list of most wanted militants, according to the statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The confrontation, which began Thursday night, foiled a planned terror attack in Jiddah, the statement said.

The raid followed a suicide bombing in Riyadh on Wednesday at the headquarters of Saudi General Security (search), a national police agency. The attack killed six people, including the attacker, and wounded 148.

Police cordoned off the al-Safaa (search) neighborhood, evacuated residents, and asked the militants to surrender. But they responded with gunfire, a ministry official said.

Three militants were shot dead. Another three escaped and hijacked a car, shooting and wounding its driver, the official said.

Police officers cornered the three at dawn on Friday in another part of Jiddah. They shot dead one militant, captured another, and the third blew himself up, the official said.

Police seized "weapons, various kinds of explosives and two cars" that the militants had used in two previous attacks in which two security officers had been killed, the official said.

A police officer was wounded in the operation.

The four on the most wanted list were identified as Talal Anbar Ahmed Anbari, Ahmed Abdul-Rahman Saqr al-Fadhli, Khalid Mubarak Habiballah al-Qurashi, and Mostafa Ibrahim Mohammed Mubaraki. They were respectively ranked 8th, 13th, 17th and 22nd on the list.

Meanwhile in Riyadh on Friday, police captured a militant who refused to stop at a checkpoint in the eastern neighborhood of al-Rabwa (search), a security official said. Police chased the car and caught the militant without opening fire, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The list of most wanted militants names 26 suspects believed to be involved in bombings in Riyadh in May and November 2003 that killed 51 people, including the homicide attackers.

The Al-Haramin Brigades (search), a group purportedly inspired by Al Qaeda (search), claimed responsibility for Wednesday's suicide attack in a statement posted Thursday on at least two Islamic Web sites. The authenticity of the statement could not be verified.

On Friday, the preacher at the Grand Mosque in Mecca (search) condemned the attack.

"Any act, behavior or a call to destabilize the security of the society is considered a grave crime, grand atrocity, injustice, aggression and an outrage," Abdel Rahman bin Abdel Aziz al-Sudeis said in a sermon, aired live by state-run Saudi television.

A few days before the attack, the United States had ordered nonessential U.S. government employees and family members to leave Saudi Arabia because of "credible indications" of terrorist plots against American and Western interests.