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Saudi says 2 tonnes of explosives used in Qaeda raid

Written by: Staff

RIYADH, Feb 26: Al Qaeda suicide bombers in Saudia Arabia used two tonnes of explosives in their foiled attack on the world's largest oil processing plant, the Saudi Interior Ministry said today.

A ministry statement said each of the two pick-up trucks used in Friday's attack carried one tonne of an explosive made with ammonium nitrate. There were also unspecified quantities of other explosives including nitroglycerine and RDX.

Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia vowed more attacks after the foiled raid which caused a massive explosion at the gate of the site in eastern Saudi Arabia, where most of the oil resources of the world's biggest crude oil producer are located.

The ministry statement said DNA tests showed that the two suicide attackers who died in the blast were Mohammed al-Ghaith and Abdullah al-Tweijri -- both on a list of top wanted al Qaeda-linked Islamic militants.

Al Qaeda in Saudia Arabia had identified the two men yesterday itself and said in an Internet statement that the attack came in response to a call by al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to target oil installations.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said oil and gas output was unaffected by the ''terrorist attempt'' on the plant -- the first direct strike on a Saudi energy target since al Qaeda launched attacks aimed at toppling the US-allied monarchy in 2003.

Oil prices jumped two dollars a barrel on news of the attack in the world's largest oil exporter, which came about a year after bin Laden urged his supporters to hit Gulf oil targets.

It was the first major strike by militants opposed to the Saudi royals since suicide bombers tried to storm the Interior Ministry in Riyadh in December 2004. A most wanted list issued by Saudi authorities in June gave Ghaith's age as 23 and said Tweijri was 21 years old.


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