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Three shells fired from Iraq strike Saudi territory - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A member of the Saudi security force takes part in a military parade in preparation for the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca October 20, 2012. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

A member of the Saudi security force takes part in a military parade in preparation for the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca October 20, 2012. (Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi authorities are investigating reports that three shells fired from Iraq on Monday struck near a residential complex in Arar in the Northern Borders Province close to the Iraqi border.

Nobody was injured in the attack, which represents the second time in the past year that Saudi territory has been struck by projectiles from neighboring Iraq, where the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is fighting against government troops.

Saudi Border Guard spokesman, Gen. Mohamed Al-Ghamdi, told Asharq Al-Awsat: “At around 1:40 am local time on Monday, three shells struck near a residential complex in Arar in the Northern Borders Province. Thank God, nobody was injured in the attack.”

Ghamdi confirmed that Saudi authorities were investigating the source of the attack, which originated inside Iraqi territory.

The Saudi Border Guard spokesman confirmed that other Saudi security organizations, including the Air Force, were coordinating with the Border Guards to protect the country’s borders.

“The Air Force is conducting ongoing overflight operations to monitor any irregularities along the border,” he said.

Ghamdi stressed that the Ramadan period had not seen any decline in the state of alert of the Saudi Border Guards.

His comments come amid international reports that Saudi Arabia has deployed as many as 30,000 troops to its border with Iraq amid fears of ISIS’s advancing presence in the neighboring country.

“We are in possession of thermal imaging equipment and other advanced technological tools to prevent any illegal infiltration. Saudi Border Guards also patrol the border around the clock,” Ghamdi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Six mortars were fired from Iraq into Saudi Arabia last November, striking a remote and uninhabited area of the country’s Eastern Province, close to the Kingdom’s borders with Iraq and Kuwait.