DUBAI - Saudi King Abdullah, in a Ramadan message on Saturday, vowed to crush Islamist militants threatening the kingdom, the state news agency reported, saying the world's top oil exporter would not tolerate "a band of terrorists".

The remarks came two days after the monarch ordered all necessary measures to protect the country against potential "terrorist threats" resulting from turmoil in neighboring Iraq, where Sunni Islamist militants have captured some cities from the government of Shi'ite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

"We will not let a band of terrorists who have taken religion as a disguise behind which they hide private interests to terrorize the protected Muslims, to touch our homeland or any of its sons or its protected residents," King Abdullah said in a message at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.



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