RIYADH, Feb 28: The leader of the Al Qaeda network in Saudi Arabia, Fahd bin Faraj al-Joweir, was among five militants killed in a shootout in Riyadh on Monday, the Saudi interior ministry announced.

“Joweir, 36 ... had taken charge of the criminal cells,” after other leading members were eliminated by security forces, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency on Tuesday.

He had participated in last week’s foiled attack on the world’s largest oil processing plant at Abqaiq, in the kingdom’s eastern oil fields.

Another two of the five slain militants also appeared on a list of 36 most-wanted suspects, the statement added.

Ibrahim bin Abdullah al-Motair, 22, and Abdullah bin Mohaya al-Shimari, 25, were respectively numbers 11 and 15 on the list released last June.

Joweir himself figured number two on the list, following Moroccan Younis al-Hayari — the militant network’s late commander for the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in a shoot out in Riyadh on July 3.

A fourth militant who was killed in Monday’s clash in the Al-Yarmuk quarter of Riyadh was named as Jaffal bin Rafie al-Shimari, 28. The identity of the fifth militant was not revealed.

The two Shimaris had also taken part in Friday’s attack in Abqaiq.—AFP

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