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Malaysia says thwarted attack on Arab royalty ahead of Saudi king visit

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz departs following a welcoming ceremony at the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur on February 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Malaysia says it had foiled a planned attack on “Arab loyalties” ahead of a visit by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to the Southeast Asian country late last month.

The Saudi King arrived in Malaysia on February 26 on the first leg of his month-long Asian tour accompanied by a 600-strong entourage. He is currently in Indonesia.

On Tuesday, Malaysia’s police chief said four Yemenis had been plotting an attack on “Arab royalties."

“Apart from their role involving in producing false travel documents, they are also involved in distributing drugs... and they are also planning to attack the Arab royalties during the visit in Kuala Lumpur, so we got them in the nick of time,” Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar.

Kuala Lumpur said Sunday that one Malaysian and six foreigners, one Indonesian, four Yemenis and one East Asian, had been arrested between February 21 and 26 for suspected links to militant groups.

Police noted that two of the seven militants, a Malaysian and an Indonesian, were planning to conduct a large-scale attack using a “vehicle-borne improvised explosive device.”

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak (R) talks with Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) during the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two countries in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on February 27, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Over the last few years, Malaysia has arrested hundreds of people suspected of having connections with militant groups.

The country has been on high alert since Jakarta, the capital of its neighbor Indonesia, was rocked by multiple Daesh-linked attacks in January 2016.

In June last year, eight people were injured in a grenade attack claimed by Daesh on a bar on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

Salman’s trip was the first by a Saudi king to Malaysia in more than a decade.

King Salman left for Jakarta on March 1 on the second leg of his luxurious month-long Asia tour, which will also see him going to China, Japan and the Maldives.

Saudi King Salman has taken the world by surprise with his extravagant visit to Indonesia along with an entourage of 1,500 people amid reports that he plans to spend millions staying in resorts and hotels on Bali Island.

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