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Saudi Arabia ‘On Alert’ Amid Fears of Mall or Oil Site Attack

FROM FEB. 3, 2015: Saudi Arabian Special Forces Display Hardware, Tactics 0:49

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia has put security forces on alert for a possible militant attack on a shopping mall or energy installation, Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki said on Monday.

"There was information about a possible act targeting a mall or Aramco installations," he told Reuters. "We passed this information to the security forces to be on alert."

Al-Turki said he had no further information about the threat. Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter and key strategic ally of the United States, has been a target of jihadi militant groups for years, including al Qaeda and ISIS.

Riyadh has been carrying out air strikes against Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen since March 26 in a conflict in which nine members of its security forces have been killed by cross-border fire.

This month Saudi police announced they had detained a Saudi citizen suspected of shooting dead two police officers and injuring two others in two separate attacks in Riyadh.

On Saturday, guards at the gates of a central Riyadh shopping mall stopped single men from entering and searched the bags of female shoppers, Reuters reporters said.

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- Reuters