RIYADH, (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said on Friday it killed a suspect linked to al Qaeda, who was involved in the killing of four Frenchmen, the official news agency SPA reported.
It said the suspect, Waleed bin Mutliq al-Radadi, one of the most wanted militants in the kingdom, was killed when police stormed a residential building in the city of Medina, one of Islam’s holiest sites.
Four French nationals were killed by gunmen on Feb. 26 in the Arab country during a desert trip. There was no claim for the attack.
A policeman was also killed and two others wounded after an exchange of gunfire with the suspect, SPA said.
Radadi was number six on the 15 most-wanted list issued by Saudi Arabia in 2005.
“The killing of al-Radadi is very significant, his links to al Qaeda made him a major target,” a Dubai-based Saudi security analyst said. “He was hiding for so long, and now they got him.”
Islamic militants swearing allegiance to al Qaeda launched a violent campaign against Saudi Arabia in 2003, carrying out suicide bomb attacks on foreign nationals and government installations, including the oil industry.
King Abdullah said in 2006 al Qaeda militants had been “defeated” and were “finished”.