Riyadh, Apr 27: Authorities in Saudi Arabia have arrested 172 suspected militants allegedly belonging to seven terrorist cells, the Saudi interior ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Some of the arrested suspects were planning to utilize aircraft to stage terrorist attacks on oil fields and installations, the statement said, adding that they had received pilot training.
Some 61 of the suspects belonged to one cell, which was planning the assassination of officials in Mecca and bomb attacks on organizations there, pan-Arab news broadcaster al-Arabiya reported.
The suspects, Saudi nationals as well as foreign residents, had sophisticated equipment and weapons, plus 20 million Saudi riyals ($5.3 million).
Islamist militants linked to the Al Qaeda terrorist network have been responsible for a series of attacks in Saudi Arabia in recent years, primarily targeting foreigners and security personnel.