Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh – Saudi forces have arrested a heavily armed “extremist” after wounding him in an exchange of gunfire in the kingdom’s central heartland, the interior ministry said early Thursday.
The man had embraced Daesh “ideology” and was found to be in possession of a machine gun, a pistol and multiple rounds of ammunition, the ministry said in a statement.
The man was also wearing what appeared to be an explosives-laden belt, Ekhbariya television reported.
The incident comes as the kingdom prepares to host the annual Haj pilgrimage from August 19-24.
The kingdom has seen numerous attacks in recent years by terrorists, including Qaeda and Daesh, against security forces.
It has also seen clashes between Shiite militants and security forces in the eastern provinces.
In July, a drive-by shooting against a checkpoint in central Saudi Arabia and an ensuing gunfight left a security officer, a Bangladeshi civilian and two attackers’ dead, according to the interior ministry.
And in April, four Saudi policemen were killed and four others wounded in an attack targeting a checkpoint in the southwestern province of Asir.