The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Indians hurt in al Qaida strike
- Car bomb blows up in Saudi capital

Riyadh, Nov. 9 (Agencies): Two Indians were among over a hundred injured when suspected al Qaida suicide bombers posing as Saudi police blew up their explosives-laden car in a Riyadh compound housing mostly Arab foreigners, tearing it apart and killing 11 people.

The powerful blast ripped an avenue of destruction between 200 villas in the compound in the capital just days after Western nations issued fresh terror alerts and Washington shut its missions in the kingdom, the world’s biggest oil exporter.

“The attackers got into the compound by disguising themselves as Saudi security. They wore security uniforms and drove into the compound in a vehicle similar to that used by police,” a Saudi security source said.

A diplomat confirmed the report.

The security source said there were at least two attackers.

Initial reports suggested that an Indian — a security guard — might have died in the attack. But the Saudi interior ministry made no mention of it and the Indian embassy here said: “There are no Indians in the list of dead so far.”

About the two injured, embassy officials said Mohammed Rafia was discharged after first aid and Habibur Rahman was being treated.

“Eleven people were killed from Saudi, Sudanese and Egyptian nationalities, among them four children,” the official SPA news agency quoted an interior ministry official as saying. He said 36 children were among the 122 people wounded.

Interior minister Prince Nayef said: “We will get the perpetrators no matter how long it takes.”

“Let everyone inside and outside (Saudi Arabia) know that this country will not be shaken because we derive our strength from God.”

The bombers shot their way into the guarded Muhaya complex and detonated at least one car packed with explosives. Most residents were families of middle-class professionals from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinian territories.

“This is a crime against innocents. It is an al Qaida operation,” the security source said.

A Reuters correspondent at the scene said: “I saw two bodies, one being carried away and another lying on the grass of the compound. Whole walls of the 200 villas were blown out and glass covered the compound.”

Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam and of al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, is battling a surge in Islamist violence.

In May, a triple suicide bombing at Riyadh housing compounds killed 35 people, including nine Americans, and was blamed on al Qaida.

A Western diplomat said interior minister Prince Nayef and other Saudi royals had private homes near the compound on the western outskirts of Riyadh.

One American was injured and another was reported missing, a US diplomat said, but it was unknown if they were of dual nationality.

On Friday, the US issued its second security warning on Saudi Arabia in recent days, saying “terrorists” were planning attacks in the kingdom.


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