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US Consulate in SA attacked

Old 12-06-04, 09:48 AM
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US Consulate in SA attacked

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...audi_explosion

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia - Islamic militants threw explosives at the gate of the heavily guarded U.S. consulate in Jiddah, then forced their way into the building, prompting a gunbattle in a bold assault that left seven people dead and several injured before the three-hour long crisis was brought under control.

Several Americans were slightly injured, according to a State Department official in Washington.

Three attackers were among those killed, while two others were injured and arrested, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced. Saudi security officials also said four of their forces were killed. The ministry statement didn't mention hostages, though Saudi security officials said some had been taken.

In Riyadh, U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Carol Kalin said two local staff members were injured, but all American staff were safe.

"We have accounted for all Americans on the compound in Jiddah and none of them are being held hostage," Kalin said. "We have a local work force that was on duty and we are still in the process of accounting for (them)."

Kalin said it was unclear if any of the U.S. Marine guards inside the consulate were involved in the gunbattle.

As a precaution, she said, the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh and consulate in Dhahran were closed to the public.

The attackers apparently made their way past Saudi security personnel into the interior of the diplomatic compound, the State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"All the Americans at the consulate were able to reach secure locations" at the compound, he said, describing the injuries to the Americans as minor.

Saudi security forces, including snipers, could be seen on the rooftops of buildings around the consulate compound. Thick smoke rose from the compound and helicopters hovered overhead.

The statement by a Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, said a "stray bunch" a reference to Islamic militants threw explosives at the gate of the consulate, then entered. Saudi security forces engaged the attackers, "killing three aggressors, and two were captured after they were hit," the statement said.

"The situation was brought under control," the statement said. It gave no further details.

The White House closely monitored the situation in Jiddah as President Bush (news - web sites) prepared to meet with two Middle East leaders Ghazi al-Yawer, the interim president of Iraq (news - web sites), and Jordan's King Abdullah II.

A senior Saudi official in Washington, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the attackers took several hostages, mostly Sudanese and Indian, but the Americans were evacuated.

During the hostage standoff, the official said, there were some negotiations, but Saudi security forces stormed the attackers when threats were made. There was a brief firefight that ended with the three being killed and two captured, the Saudi official said.

Security forces freed the hostages, the official said.

Area residents spoke of seeing Saudi forces enter the consulate shortly before a fierce gunbattle was heard inside. A short time later, the gunfire stopped.



Saudi security officials said two security guards at the gate of consulate were wounded, one of them seriously, after the attackers opened fire on them before entering the mission.

A Saudi health official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said several people were injured and taken to a hospital.

Witnesses initially said they saw the attackers' car explode outside the consulate, located in the city's heart near the Red Sea coast, but it was not immediately clear if a car bomb had been used or if the attackers had thrown explosives after driving the car up to the consulate.

Saudi security officials said the assailants shot at security guards at the consulate's gate, set off an explosion using either a car bomb or grenades and got into the compound. There, they said Saudi security guards engaged the attackers, but the attackers managed to seize hostages.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But Saudi officials have blamed al-Qaida operatives for the string of attacks that have hit the kingdom in the past two years.

On Islamic militant Web sites, contributors began hailing the attack even before it was over, with one person praising it as "destruction of a bastion of atheism."

"We were afraid about our brothers in the Arab peninsula, but this proves that they are well and sound, thank God," said the person who made the posting, referring to recent Saudi crackdowns on militants.

Al-Arabiya satellite television reported the attackers were believed to be carrying machine guns and hand grenades that were thought to have started a fire inside the compound. The fire was extinguished by helicopter, the report said.

"The magnitude of this assault on the consulate has taken all Jiddah residents by surprise," said Khaled al-Maeena, the editor of Arab News located in Jiddah who saw the smoke rising from the compound.

The building like all U.S. diplomatic buildings and other Western compounds in Saudi Arabia has been heavily fortified and guarded since last year's series of bombings against targets housing foreigners.

The series of attacks started in 2003, when car bombs targeted three compounds housing foreign workers in Riyadh, killing 35 people, including nine suicide bombers. Later that year, a suicide car bomb killed 17 people and wounded 122 at a compound for foreign workers in Riyadh.

Last May, 22 people were killed, including 19 foreigners, by militants who took over a resort complex in Khobar and held hostages for 25 hours. In another attack that month, militants stormed offices of Houston-based ABB Lummus Global Inc. in Yanbu, killing six Westerners and a Saudi. All four attackers in Yanbu died in a shootout after an hour-long police chase in which they dragged the body of an American from the bumper of their car.

In June, militants in Riyadh, the capital, kidnapped and beheaded Paul M. Johnson Jr., an engineer for a U.S. defense company.
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Old 12-06-04, 10:09 AM
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Do you suppose we might get a moderator to move this thread to the proper forum?

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Old 12-06-04, 10:17 AM
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"The Place to talk about US Politics and related issues" Or don't you think one of our consulates being attacked is related to politics
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Old 12-06-04, 10:36 AM
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I had dreams all last night that there was a nuclear attack on the US and that a large ground war had begun and everyone was given guns and were fighting. Exactly who we were fighting I didn't understand but it scared the shit out of me. I would wake up every 10 mins and then go right back into a similar dream. All-night dreams like that rarely happen to me. Needless to say, first thing I did this am was check the news. Glad this story was as bad as it got as far as the US being attacked.
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Old 12-06-04, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Do you suppose we might get a moderator to move this thread to the proper forum?
Absolutely.

Moving to <b>DVD Talk Covers, Cases, and Inserts Forum.</b>

- David Stein
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Old 12-06-04, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by sfsdfd
Absolutely.

Moving to <b>DVD Talk Covers, Cases, and Inserts Forum.</b>

- David Stein
Thank you!

But, I actually had Other more in mind.
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Old 12-06-04, 11:13 AM
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Using that logic though shouldn't your Harry Reid thread be in TV Talk


This is the appropriate forum for this news/thread. Please stick to the original topic of the attack and use the report this post <img src="http://dvdtalk.com/forum/images/buttons/report.gif"> if you disagree/have a comment about where a specific thread should go.
Thanks
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Old 12-06-04, 11:58 AM
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The day when classicman becomes a moderator is the day I'm quitting DVDTalk. Take that to the bank.

As far as the actual thread...This is a pretty bold move by those bastards. Of course they're still going after civilians here, which is absolute crap.
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Old 12-06-04, 12:06 PM
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Does anyone believe that the government of Saudia Arabia is doing nearly enough to combat these radical elements (and IMO there are a hell of a lot of them) in their country?
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Old 12-06-04, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
Does anyone believe that the government of Saudia Arabia is doing nearly enough to combat these radical elements (and IMO there are a hell of a lot of them) in their country?
To me "enough" would start with shutting down the Madrassas. Somehow I seriously doubt this will happen.
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Old 12-06-04, 05:43 PM
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RoP strikes again
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