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Over 2,000 Saudis fighting abroad as part of terrorist groups

Over 2,000 Saudis fighting abroad as part of terrorist groups

Officials confirmed that 73 Saudis are presently detained outside the country on charges related to terrorism

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior has said that 2,093 Saudi citizens are involved in fighting abroad as part of terrorist organisations.

The ministry also confirmed that 73 Saudis are presently detained outside the country on charges related to terrorism, according to local media reports.

Interior Ministry spokesman Mansour Al-Turki said that the Saudi terrorists are fighting in various conflict areas worldwide.

“We have confirmations on the locations of the majority of them,” he added.

Al-Turki said that 1,540 of the kingdom’s nationals have joined terrorist organisations in Syria – accounting for over 70 per cent of the total number of Saudis fighting in conflict zones.

While 147 are fighting with terrorist groups in Yemen, 31 Saudi terrorists are currently in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Five Saudis are fighting in Iraq.

“We have no information about the whereabouts of another 297 Saudis,” he added.

Saudi has pledged to combat terrorism as it struggles to deal with attacks within the kingdom.

Since 2014, ISIL has carried out several bombing and shooting attacks in Saudi Arabia, killing scores of people.

Most recently, in July, suicide bombers – suspected of belonging to ISIL, blew themselves up in the cities of Jeddah, Qatif and Medina, killing at least four security officers.

Read more: Suicide attacks in three Saudi cities including Medina, four dead

Saudi’s top clerical body condemned the attacks, calling them anti-religious.

“They are renegades from the (true) religion who have left behind the Muslim flock and their imam, violating all sanctities,” the Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars said in a statement.

“They have no religion,” it added.

Also read: GCC mulls unified law to ‘combat terrorism’

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