Riyadh: Saudi Arabia said Monday the assailants behind Shiite killings earlier this month are linked to the Islamic State jihadist group, including many jailed previously over suspected extremist ties.
The interior ministry said it had broken up the "criminal network" behind the attack in Eastern Province, adding that the group`s "head had links with Daesh," the Arabic name for IS.
Gunmen killed seven Shiites, including children, in the eastern town of Al-Dalwa on November 3 during the commemoration of Ashura, one of the holiest occasions of their faith.
Four men carried out the attack after killing a man from a neighbouring village and stealing his car to use it in the Al-Dalwa shootings, the interior ministry said.
Security forces had since arrested 73 Saudis and four foreigners "linked" to the attack, it said in a statement carried by SPA state news agency.
The ministry said that three of the four assailants had served jail terms over links to the "deviant group," a term usually used to refer to al Qaeda.
In total, 32 of those arrested had been previously jailed, while 15 others had been on bail.
Security forces seized during raids documents and electronic equipment that "revealed contact between this terrorist organisation and Daesh abroad," the ministry said.