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Al Qaeda Militants Held 50 Foreigners as Hostages in Saudi Arabia

Al Qaeda Militants Held 50 Foreigners as Hostages in Saudi Arabia

Posted May. 30, 2004 22:36,   


The hostage standoff at a residential complex in Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, ended on Sunday morning after 25 hours on the standoff. Gunmen who are linked to Al Qaeda killed 10 people and held 50 foreign hostages on Saturday morning.

Most of the hostages were released, two gunmen were killed on the spot and the other two terrorists were arrested, Reuters reported. It has not been confirmed how many hostages were killed during the rescue operation.

The four terrorists in police uniform stormed the Khobar headquarters of APICORP and Petroleum center headquarters at 7:30 a.m. on May 29, and killed 11 people including Americans and Englishmen, the CNN reported. Nevertheless, the exact number of victims has not been confirmed.

When the police went into action, the terrorists moved about 1.6 kilometers away into the Oasis compound and took about 50 foreigners as hostages in the Oasis hotel. The Saudi authorities ended the standoff in 25 hours by dispatching special forces at around eight in the morning on May 30.

Some Islam Internet sites posted statements that the attack targeted U.S. corporations. The Saudi police announced that the gunmen were on a list of wanted militants who had been linked to Al Qaeda.

Prior to this accident, gunmen stormed Swiss engineering company ABB in Yanbu in northwestern Saudi Arabia, and killed seven people, including six foreigners on May 1.

“Terrorists who try to harm the Saudi economy and stability will never succeed,” said Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. The Saudi Oil Ministry announced that there would be no disruption in oil supply due to the attack.

Jin Lee leej@donga.com