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Saudis ‘foil plot to bomb World Cup 2018 qualifier’

A World Cup qualifying football match between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in Jeddah. Photo: 11 October 2016Image copyright
AFP/Getty Images

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The match between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates was in Jeddah on 11 October

Saudi Arabia says it has thwarted a plan to bomb an international football match in the western city of Jeddah.

Militants had plotted to car-bomb a World Cup 2018 qualifying game between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in October, it says.

The authorities also say they have foiled a second plot directed by Islamic State (IS) militants to kill security officials near Riyadh.

Eight suspects have been arrested from two “terrorist cells”, offficials say.

Among them are Saudi nationals, two Pakistanis, a Syrian and a Sudanese, the Saudi interior ministry says.

It has also published a list of several more suspects wanted for their alleged involvement in planning attacks in the eastern cities of Qatif and Dammam.

Saudi Arabia has been the target of attacks by IS over the past two years.

In July, a suicide bomber killed four security officers and injured five others near one of Islam’s holiest sites, in the city of Medina.

In June, the interior ministry said there had been 26 “terror attacks” in the kingdom during that month.