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400 arrests as Saudi Arabia targets Islamic State militants

Saudi Arabia says it has broken up planned Islamic State attacks and arrested more than 400 people in raids.

The Interior Ministry accused those arrested over the "past few weeks" of conducting several attacks, including an Islamic State-claimed suicide bomb in May that killed 21 people in the village of al-Qudeeh, in the oil-rich eastern Qatif region.

It was the deadliest militant assault in the kingdom in more than a decade.

The ministry statement also blamed IS for the November shooting and killing of eight worshippers in the eastern village of al-Ahsa.

The statement said the arrested men were also behind another attack in late May, when a suicide bomber disguised as a woman blew himself up in the car park of a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers, killing four people.

The Interior Ministry said that in June it thwarted a suicide bomb attack on a large mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia that can hold 3,000 worshippers, along with multiple planned attacks on other mosques and diplomatic and security bodies.

Those arrested were also behind a number of militant websites used in recruiting, the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia branded IS a terrorist organisation last year and has joined the US-led coalition targeting it in Syria and Iraq.

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