Gangs Seen Behind Saudi Blasts
May. 17, 2001
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ A ``settling of accounts'' among criminals is behind a series of bombings in Saudi Arabia since November, the deputy interior minister said in an interview published Thursday.
``There isn't any political connection (to the bombings) and so far nothing has appeared to indicate any such connection,'' Prince Ahmed told the Saudi newspaper Okaz.
He called the bombings ``a settling of accounts between people involved in illegal and improper acts.''
The prince said there are no criminal gangs with ties to international gangs, nor are there any organized gangs that operate inside Saudi Arabia on a national scale.
Two bombings in the capital, Riyadh, between Nov. 17 and Dec. 15 killed a Briton and injured four others.
A Scottish man was injured in an explosion in Khobar in December. A British man and an Egyptian were injured in a blast in Riyadh in March. An American was seriously injured this month in Khobar when a package he was opening exploded.
Prince Ahmed has said previously that authorities had information that would lead them to those responsible for the attacks.
Three foreigners working in Saudi Arabia _ a Briton, a Belgian and a Canadian _ have been arrested in connection with the blasts and are in custody. They appeared on Saudi state television in February and confessed to carrying out the bombings, according to the station's Arabic translations of their statements.
The suspects who spoke on television did not give a motive for the bombings.