File photo shows Saudi security forces on parade.
Saudi security forces have foiled a terror plot by elements suspected of links to the al-Qaeda terrorist organization, and smashed two extremist cells in the capital Riyadh as well as the western city of Jeddah.
The interior ministry in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency on Sunday said the suspects were "in contact with the deviant organization abroad."
The suspects were working on "recruiting elements to execute criminal attacks targeting security forces, citizens and foreign residents, as well as public installations."
The ministry said two Saudis and six Yemenis were arrested, and it also named two nationals as wanted for questioning.
"Investigations revealed that those elements were at an advanced stage... including preparing explosives and testing them outside Riyadh," the ministry said, adding that one suspect accidentally lost a finger during the tests.
The first Saudi suspect turned out to be the head of the cell in Riyadh, and he gave "detailed information" that led to the arrest of the six Yemenis, who also confessed to taking part in the plot, it said.
Police found "chemicals used for explosives as well as mobile phones wired to detonate explosive devices remotely", at an annex of a mosque in the capital, the ministry said.
Investigations also led to a link with the other cell in Jeddah.
The ministry said that a Saudi member of that cell "who worked on preparing explosive chemicals" was arrested.