Saudi television on Saturday showed the pictures of four militants it said were killed in a shootout that broke out after the slaying of an American hostage, and one of the dead was said to be the Al Qaeda leader in the kingdom.

The Interior Ministry's renewed claims that Abdulaziz al-Moqrin (searchwas among the dead came shortly after a message on an Islamic militant Web site claimed that the reports of al-Moqrin's saying were false.

Al-Moqrin is the kingdom's most-wanted terror suspect and was believed to be the mastermind behind the kidnapping of Paul M. Johnson Jr. (search), the American whose beheaded body was found Friday.