JEDDAH: Two Saudi suspects killed when their car exploded in a mainly Shiite district of the Kingdom were wanted for murdering police officers, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.
DNA testing identified Fadil Al-Hamada and Mohammed Al-Suwaimil, both Saudis, as the men who died on June 1 in Qatif city.
Officers took “necessary action” after spotting their stolen vehicle, the ministry said at the time, without detailing how it was stopped.
“As a result, it caught fire and exploded,” killing the two occupants, the ministry said.
The vehicle was found to contain weapons as well as material which exploded, the ministry said on Tuesday.
A witness told AFP there was a “very huge” explosion.
The two are suspected of involvement in a number of crimes including evidence of Al-Hamada’s participation in the murder of a police officer during a shooting at a police station in Qatif; robbing a money transfer vehicle in Nabiyah neighborhood in Qatif; firing at a security patrol in Dammam, which resulted in the death of two security personnel; the shooting of two security officers, also in Dammam; firing at a security patrol, which resulted in the death of another officer in Qatif; the murder of a private in Tarot; and the kidnap and murder of two police officers in Qatif.
Evidence linked Al-Suwaimil in the kidnap and killing of two in Qatif; his participation in shooting at security men; stalking security personnel on patrol in Qatif; and passing relevant information to armed terrorist elements for targeting security patrols.
Last month, violence escalated around a redevelopment project in the old Almosara section of Awamiya, a Qatif district town.
The statement said that further technical examinations by forensic labs on the weapons seized inside the vehicle revealed that a recovered machine gun was used in a shooting at a police station in Qatif, which resulted in the death of Abdul Salam Barjas Sayah Al-Enzi. Trace evidence of explosives was also discovered on the vehicle after it burned.
The Interior Ministry said criminals engaged in the drug and arms trade were involved in the Almosara unrest, which earlier led to the death of a policeman and at least two civilians.
An explosion in Almosara on Sunday killed a police major, the latest victim.
The ministry confirmed that authorities will continue their efforts to maintain public security and deter criminals, and unveil those who support them to bring them to justice.