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Saudi Spy Chief Ousted under U.S. Pressure

The exit of Saudi's spy chief was the result of U.S. pressure over his stance on Syria but does not signal a shift in Riyadh's goal of toppling the Damascus regime, experts say.

Riyadh, as is usual, did not elaborate on its statement this week that Prince Bandar bin Sultan was being replaced, saying only that the veteran diplomat had asked to step down.

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Saudi Beheaded for Killing Man with Machinegun

The authorities in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday beheaded a citizen convicted of shooting dead a compatriot, the interior ministry said.

Mohammed Matrak Mohammed al-Dosari was found guilty of killing Mubarak Zafir Manahi al-Dosari using a machinegun, the ministry said in a statement carried by the state news agency SPA.

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Saudi Court Detains Rights Lawyer

A Saudi court has ordered the arrest of a prominent rights lawyer who was on trial for insulting the authorities and defying the ultra-conservative kingdom's ruler, his wife said Wednesday.

Waleed Abulkhair was already on bail for holding unauthorized meetings for reformists when he went to a fifth hearing of his trial at a Riyadh court on Tuesday.

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Saudi Reports New MERS Death, Infections in Jeddah

A Saudi man has died of MERS in the western city of Jeddah, where authorities have sought to calm fears over the spreading respiratory illness, the health ministry said Wednesday.

The ministry said five more people were infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, including two medics, all in Jeddah.

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Saudi Renews Demand for 'Stern' World Action on Syria

Saudi Arabia Tuesday urged "stern" world action against Syria after the regime's decision to hold presidential elections and its alleged use of toxic gas against civilians.

Saudi Arabia is one of the main backers of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad in a civil war increasingly seen as a proxy battle between it and regional rival Iran.

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Saudi Soldier Killed in Attack near Yemen Border

Suspected Yemeni smugglers shot dead a Saudi soldier near the kingdom's border with Yemen in the second such attack in less than a week, local media reported Tuesday.

The Al-Watan daily reported that the Monday clash between a Saudi patrol and "Yemeni smugglers" in the southwestern province of Jizan also left a Saudi border guard wounded.

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Foreigner Dies of MERS in Saudi Arabia

A foreigner has died from MERS in the western Saudi city of Jeddah, where authorities have sought to calm fears over the spreading respiratory illness, the health ministry said Monday.

The death of the 70-year-old man brought the toll of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome in the most-affected country to 69 fatalities. Four new cases of infection were registered, bringing the kingdom's total to 194, the ministry said.

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Hariri Congratulates Moqren for Being Named Saudi Future King

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Monday congratulated Saudi prince Moqren bin Abdul Aziz, who has been recently named second in line for the Gulf kingdom's throne.

According to a statement issued by Hariri's press office, the two men met at the prince's office at al-Yamama Palace in Riyadh.

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HRW: Saudi End to Girls' Sports Ban Welcome

Human Rights Watch welcomed Saturday a recommendation by Saudi Arabia's consultative Shura Council to lift the ban on sports in girls' state schools.

On Tuesday, the council recommended that the longstanding ban, relaxed in private schools last year, be ended altogether, state media in the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom reported.

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2 Saudi Guards Killed in Yemen Border Attack

Two Saudi soldiers have been killed in a clash with unidentified gunmen who fired on them from across the border with Yemen, the interior ministry said Thursday.

A border guard patrol in the southwestern province of Asir "came under heavy gunfire on Wednesday morning from unknown sources inside Yemeni territory," said the ministry.

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