RIYADH: Saudi police shot dead two suspected terrorists and two others blew themselves up during a raid near the holy city of Makkah on Thursday, the interior ministry said.

"The terrorists started shooting towards security, which they responded to", leading to the deaths of a pair of suspects while the others "committed suicide by blowing themselves up with suicide belts", the ministry's spokesman said in a statement.

Police had surrounded the suspects' hideout between the holy city of Makkah and Taif on Thursday morning when the shootout occurred.

A simultaneous raid occurred on a hideout in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, where two people were arrested, “and they are being investigated for their involvement in this cell”, the spokesman said. He added that the raids were part of surveillance and followup, “including to what happened in Bisha on Friday”.

At that time, two suspects died in a shootout with security forces who foiled a car bombing in Bisha, southwestern Aseer region.

A third suspect, Iqab Mujab al-Otaibi, fled but was later arrested wearing an explosives belt, the ministry announced last Sunday.

According to the ministry, Otaibi allegedly took part in a deadly shooting at a Shia mosque in 2014 and a bombing that targeted security forces at a mosque in Aseer last year.

Both attacks were among several bombings and shootings claimed by the self-styled Islamic State group since late 2014 in Saudi Arabia.

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