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SECURITY FORCES KILL 14 AS 3-DAY FIREFIGHT ENDS

Security forces seized a walled compound Tuesday where Islamic militants had been barricaded for days, ending the kingdom's largest gunbattle with armed extremists. At least 14 of the militants were killed, including top leaders of the Saudi branch of al-Qaida, state television said.

Six others were captured in the three days of fierce firefights in the desert town of al-Rass, state TV said, citing security officials after the battle was over.

For nearly 48 hours, the gunmen had been holed up in the villa compound with a large arsenal of weapons, surrounded by hundreds of Saudi special forces and firing off heavy volleys of automatic weapons fire and grenades.

Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah congratulated the security forces, who had "demonstrated their courage in facing up to terror acts. We thank each one of them for their heroic deeds."

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