• Filipina held in Saudi over suicide vests

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    RIYADH: A Filipina has been arrested in Saudi Arabia on suspicion of helping a Syrian to make explosive belts for suicide attacks in the kingdom, the interior ministry said on Saturday.

    The Syrian suspect, identified as Mohamed al-Barazi, is suspected of turning the house they shared in a residential neighbourhood of the Saudi capital into a bomb factory, the ministry spokesman said.

    He is also accused of having a second house in Riyadh which he ran as a safe house for militants on the run.

    Barazi was detained in a police ambush in the Saudi capital on Wednesday, the spokesman said.

    Police then raided the suspected bomb factory which they found had been booby-trapped.

    The Filipina, who was not identified, was wearing a suicide vest at the time of her arrest.
    After the house had been made safe, police recovered two explosives belts, 10 containers of bomb-making materials and two firearms, a ministry statement said.

    Asked on state television whether Barazi was suspected of links to the Islamic State group, the spokesman said authorities “did not yet have sufficient evidence to make any direct connection with this terrorist group.”

    A series of attacks claimed by IS in Saudi Arabia this year have killed dozens of people.
    In July, the authorities announced that they had detained 431 people, most of them Saudis, on suspicion of involvement in an IS cell.

    Saudi Arabia has taken part in the US-led air war against IS in Syria since September last year raising fears of revenge attacks.

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