September 26, 2015 / 2:06 PM / 2 years ago

Islamic State suspect, Saudi soldier killed in shoot-out in desert north

DUBAI (Reuters) - One Saudi soldier and one suspected Islamic State militant were killed in a gun battle in northern Saudi Arabia between security forces and two brothers wanted in connection with several attacks last week, the Interior Ministry said on Saturday.

Islamic State has called on supporters to carry out attacks in Saudi Arabia and string of deadly attacks by its followers has fueled concerns about a growing threat of militancy in the world’s top oil exporter.

The two brothers were suspects in shootings that killed two civilians outside a police station and a soldier in separate incidents on Thursday. They were also wanted for allegedly killing their cousin, a member of the Saudi security forces.

Abdul Aziz al-Anzi, 18, was killed, while his brother Saad, 21, was wounded and captured in the shoot-out in the northern desert province of Ha‘il, the Interior Ministry said.

In the worst attacks by the group in the kingdom to date, two suicide bombers killed 25 people at Shi‘ite Muslim mosques in the east of the country in May.

Saudi authorities say they are cracking down on the militants and announced in July that it had detained 431 people suspected of belonging to the organization.

Reporting By Noah Browning and Omar Fahmy; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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