RIYADH: Saudi authorities announced Saturday that they had broken up an organisation linked to the Islamic State group and have so far arrested 431 of its members, most of them Saudis.
Authorities have "managed over the past few weeks to destroy an organisation made of a cluster of cells, which is linked to the terrorist Daesh organisation," the interior ministry said, using the Arabic acronym for IS.
Network members were engaged in a "plot managed from areas of unrest abroad, with the aim of sowing sectarian sedition and spreading chaos," the ministry said.
Among those arrested were Yemenis, Egyptians, Jordanians, Algerians, Nigerians and Chadians among citizens of nine different countries.
Authorities also thwarted seven mosque attacks that had been planned by the suspects in the capital Riyadh as well as the Eastern Province, ministry spokesperson General Mansour Al Turki said in a press conference, Al Arabiya reported.
The cells were involved in several attacks and plots, including the deadly suicide bombings that hit Shia mosques in the kingdom's Eastern Province, it said.
The Islamic State, which considers Shias heretics, has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
IS controls swathes of neighbouring Iraq and Syria, and has claimed widespread abuses including the beheading of foreign hostages.
Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Gulf neighbours last year joined a US-led military coalition bombing IS in Syria, raising concerns about possible retaliation in the kingdom.
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