Saudis arrest 'killers' of French engineer

23rd November 2004, Comments 0 comments

RIYADH, Nov 23 (AFP) - Saudi security forces have arrested two men who confessed to killing a French engineer in the Red Sea city of Jeddah in September, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

RIYADH, Nov 23 (AFP) - Saudi security forces have arrested two men who confessed to killing a French engineer in the Red Sea city of Jeddah in September, a newspaper reported Tuesday.

Laurent Barbot, a 45-year-old technical assistant for French electronics group Thales, was shot twice with an automatic rifle and found dying at the wheel of his sports utility vehicle on September 26.

His murder was the latest in a series of shootings targeting Westerners but the first involving a French national in the kingdom, which has been battling a deadly wave of terror attacks since May 2003 blamed on Al-Qaeda sympathisers.

Quoting security sources, the Okaz newsaper named one of those arrested as Hamad al-Saadi and the second only by his family name of al-Sameery. It said the pair had "confessed to the crime" of killing Barbot.

It said Saadi, described as the head of the Al-Jamia cell, named after a neighbourhood in Jeddah, carried out the murder while Sameery was in charge of plotting and preparing for the killing.

A weapon found in "the den of the Jamia cell" where the two suspects were arrested, matched the type of bullets used in the attack, the paper said.

However, an interior ministry spokesman, quoted by the official SPA news agency, said the "information related to the confessions of Hamad al-Saadi on the murder of Frenchman Laurent Barbot in Jeddah is not accurate."

"Investigation procedures on the incident are not finished," the spokesman added, making no reference to the second reported suspect.

Barbot's murder followed the September 15 killing of a British national in Riyadh.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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