Saudi Arabia 'foils IS suicide bomb plot, spy ring'
Saudi authorities have said they have foiled an Islamic State group plot to attack government buildings with suicide bombings, while separately dismantling an alleged spy ring in the kingdom.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said in a statement early on Tuesday that security forces had arrested four IS members, who had allegedly planned attacks using "suicide vests" at two Defence Ministry offices in the capital Riyadh.
Two Yemenis, who reportedly would have carried out the mission, and two Saudis were arrested in connection with the plot in a Riyadh neighbourhood, the SPA said without giving a date for the arrests.
The agency added that officials seized firearms and other weapons, as well as a home used by the plotters.
Saudi media published images of what it described as suicide bomb belts, as well as homemade grenades seized by authorities.
Separately, the SPA announced that a spy ring had been broken up, but in vaguer terms.
It described the cell as made up of "Saudis and foreigners" who wanted to "stir up sedition and prejudice national unity."
It said they worked for "the benefit of foreign parties against the security of the kingdom and its interests."
The dual announcements show the security challenges facing the conservative kingdom as it fights a years long war in Yemen and remains embroiled in a diplomatic dispute with Qatar with other Arab nations.
Riyadh has been leading a military coalition to support the Yemeni government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi after Houthi rebels forced him into exile.
Saudi Arabia battled an al-Qaeda insurgency for years and more recently has faced attacks from a local branch of IS.