updated 3/29/2006 9:45:44 AM ET 2006-03-29T14:45:44

Saudi authorities have arrested 40 suspected members of the al-Qaida terror network and seized a large cache of weapons and explosives, the official Saudi Press Agency reported Wednesday.

Quoting an unnamed Interior Ministry official, the agency said security forces have carried out simultaneous operations, rounding up suspects in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the Eastern province, Qassim in the north and Asir in the south.

The agency did not say when the arrests were made.

Of the 40, authorities arrested 19 suspected of financing terror attacks and disseminating "disinformation on the Internet," the official said. The 19 included Saudis and "residents," he said, without providing details on their nationalities.

Eight people connected to last month's attack on the Abqaiq complex, the world's largest oil processing facility, were also arrested, he said.

He said 13 others influenced by "deviant thoughts" and active in collecting funds to finance suspicious activities were arrested.

Police also seized grenades, rifles and ammunition in the raids, he said.

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