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Saudi security forces intensify border patrols during the holidays - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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A member of the Saudi border guards force stands guard next to a fence on Saudi Arabia's northern borderline with Iraq, in this July 14, 2014 file photo. (Reuters/Faisal Nasser/Files)

A member of the Saudi border guards force stands guard next to a fence on Saudi Arabia’s northern borderline with Iraq, in this July 14, 2014 file photo. (Reuters/Faisal Nasser/Files)

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi security officials told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday that the security forces are intensifying operations on both land and sea borders during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday period.

Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Al-Ghamdi said: “Some criminals expect the pace of work to slow down because of the celebrations of Eid Al-Fitr.” He added that security officers had apprehended hundreds of infiltrators and confiscated four tons of hashish in the month of Ramadan.

Ghamdi said the suspects arrested by border security officers during the holy month of Ramadan were mostly Yemenis and African nationals. He added that the latter were usually transported to the Saudi–Yemeni border for a fee by smugglers, and were seeking to enter the kingdom illegally.

Continuing instability in Iraq and Yemen has focused increasing attention on the issue of the security of Saudi Arabia’s borders.

Last month, Saudi border guards confronted six men attempting to infiltrate the Wadi border post in Sharwa governorate, in southern Saudi Arabia. Five of them were killed and the sixth was captured after being wounded.

According to the Saudi Interior Ministry, DNA testing revealed that all six were wanted members of a terrorist group.

Meanwhile, Saudi security authorities say they are continuing to investigate a mortar attack on a residential complex in the Jadida Arar governorate which took place two weeks ago. Although there were no reported casualties, it marks the second time the Kingdom’s territory has been attacked from Iraq with mortar fire.

As well as terrorist attacks, Saudi border security is continuing attempts to tackle criminal activity. Late last week, border guards on the Saudi–Jordanian border claimed to have thwarted an attempt to smuggle almost a quarter of a million Captagon pills into the Kingdom.

Authorities said the security forces seized a shipment of the banned amphetamine while monitoring attempts by a group of smugglers attempting to cross the border on foot.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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