Arms smuggling from Yemen to Saudi Arabia continuesYemen-Saudi border still suffers [Archives:2003/644/Front Page]

June 23 2003

Riyadh, June 21 (YT) – Official reports coming from Saudi Arabia revealed that the problem of arms smuggling from Yemen to Saudi Arabia is still a major source of concern. Saudi sources confirmed that the arms confiscated last year along the Kingdom's porous 1,800-km border totaled up to 263 firearms, 1.2 million rounds of ammunition, 46,700 sticks of dynamite and a large number of detonators.
On June 18, Saudi border guards foiled an attempt by suspected Yemeni arms dealers to smuggle grenades and guns into the Kingdom for possible use in explosions, assassinations and other terrorist activities.
According to Gulf News, the border guards in Jizan province exchanged fire early on the same day with a number of Yemeni arms dealers in the mountains. “The guards seized 15 grenades and 10 guns shaped like pens as the dealers fled into Yemeni territory.” the paper said.
Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Saleh Al-Santali, a Saudi border guard commander, said that border guards arrested 381,900 illegal entrants in the 11-month period ending February 2003 in the southern province of Jizan.
Violent confrontations also take place sometimes on the border because of smuggling of arms and sometimes of qat and other substances. “Some three million kilograms of qat were also confiscated, besides small quantities of drugs and liquor,” Al-Santali said, adding that 36 border guards were killed during operations along the Yemeni border.
It is worth noting that the Yemen-Saudi border is a rugged, mountainous area that is difficult to control and there are constant reports from locals of suspicious activities.
This is continuing in a time demarcation efforts are going on to specifically indicate the exact border points between the two countries based on the Jeddah Treaty.