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Pakistan extradites 3 militant suspects - Saudi

RIYADH, March 16 (Reuters) - Pakistan has extradited to Saudi Arabia three Saudis nationals suspected of being militants, according to an Interior Ministry statement on Sunday.

The statement on the official news agency said two of the men handed themselves over voluntarily to Saudi authorities via the Saudi embassy in Pakistan.

They had spent time in "troubled zones in an illegal capacity" in an apparent reference to the mountainous border area of north Pakistan where al Qaeda militants are strong.

They will face legal procedures in Saudi Arabia, the statement said.

Many Saudis fought forces of the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s and then joined the al Qaeda militant group headed by Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden in the 1990s.

Dozens fell into the hands of the United States after its 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, but Saudi Arabia has been striving to repatriate them. (Reporting by Andrew Hammond;Editing by Matthew Jones)

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