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Saudis: 'Major Blow' Dealt to Al-Qaida - 2004-06-20


The Saudi government says the killing of an al-Qaida leader and three other top militants believed responsible for the beheading of American Paul Johnson is a "major blow" to the group in the kingdom.

Saudi official Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in Washington today (Saturday) that authorities are still searching for the remains of the American contractor.

He said Saudi security forces arrested 12 other suspects after Friday's firefight with the militants.

In Riyadh, U.S. Ambassador James Oberwetter said the Saudi authorities did all they could to save Mr. Johnson and had cooperated closely with U.S. officials.

Paul Johnson was the third American killed in Saudi Arabia in two weeks. With more attacks threatened, the U.S. State Department has "strongly urged" Americans to leave the kingdom.

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