Saudis arrest suspects in French slayings

/ Source: The Associated Press

Police have arrested a number of suspects in the slayings of four French nationals last week, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

But officials said it was still unclear if the killings were the work of Islamic terrorists.

Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki declined to say how many suspects had been detained in the Feb. 26 killings of the four French travelers. The tourists were shot dead by gunmen on the side of a road leading to the holy city of Medina — an area restricted to Muslims.

Asked if the suspects belonged to Islamic extremist groups, al-Turki said it was too early to say. He said the police were still looking for two other suspects.

According to the Interior Ministry, the four victims all lived in Saudi Arabia and belonged to three French families. Two worked for the electrical equipment manufacturer Schneider Electric, one was a teacher at a French school, and the fourth was a teenager.

Saudi Arabia has been waging an intense campaign against al-Qaida militants since a wave of suicide attacks on foreigners in the kingdom in 2003.