- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saudi Arabia has announced that it is building a multilayered fence along its northern borders, as part of efforts to secure the kingdom from “infiltrators,” state media said.

King Abdullah announced Friday the launch of the first stage of a border security program, covering 560 miles of the northern frontier, the Agence France-Presse reported.

Saudi Press Agency did not specifically name the Islamic State or Iraq, referring only to the northern frontier, but Iraq and Saudi Arabia’s common border stretches over 500 miles.

The project includes five layers of fencing and watch towers, which will cut the “number of infiltrators, drug, arms and cattle smugglers to zero,” SPA reported.

The move comes as Islamic State militants continue to wreak havoc in Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Late last month, reports said the group was planning to launch an attack against Saudi Arabia during Eid-Adha, which marks the culmination of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

Relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia have been deeply troubled since the kingdom accused the outgoing Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al Maliki, of marginalizing the Sunni Arab minority and fostering conditions for the Islamic State group to emerge, AFP reported.

Mr. Maliki in turn has accused the oil-rich kingdom of supporting “terrorism” in Shiite-majority Iraq, AFP said.

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