May 18, 2018 / 10:04 PM / in 5 months

Saudi Arabia arrests seven for suspected links with foreign entities

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi authorities have arrested seven people for suspicious contacts with foreign entities and offering financial support to enemies overseas, state news agency SPA said on Saturday.

Citing a state security spokesman, an SPA statement said the suspects arrested “had suspicious contacts with foreign entities to support their activities, recruited people working in sensitive government sites and offered financial support of hostile elements overseas.”

They aimed at undermining the security and stability of the Kingdom and dividing national unity, the statement said, adding that work was still underway to identify everyone involved in their activities and take all legal measures against them.

Saudi Arabia has arrested at least five people, mostly women who previously agitated for the right to drive and an end to the kingdom’s male guardianship system, rights activists said on Friday.

In September, Saudi authorities arrested some 30 clerics, intellectuals and activists in an apparent crackdown on potential opponents of the conservative kingdom’s absolute rulers and amid a deepening rift between the Kingdom and its allies on one side and Qatar on the other.

Saudi Arabia, alongside the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, almost a year ago cut diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar accusing it of supporting militants and Iran - charges Doha denies.

Reporting by Omar Fahmy and Marwa Rashad; Editing by Tom Brown and James Dalgleish

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