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Deadly Attack in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia - 2004-05-01


Gunmen opened fire today (Saturday) inside a business in northwestern Saudi Arabia, killing several people including at least two Americans.

The U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia has confirmed the two Americans' deaths, while Western diplomats say British and Australian nationals were also killed in the attack.

The violence took place in the Red Sea port city of Yanbu, about 150 kilometers north of Jeddah.

Reports describe the scene of the attack as either an engineering firm or a petrochemical plant.

Earlier, the Saudi Interior Ministry said four assailants entered the headquarters of a Saudi contractor and began firing at Saudi and foreign nationals inside.

It says three of the attackers were killed while being pursued by Saudi security forces while a fourth was wounded and arrested.

Reports say one of the attackers blew himself up with explosives strapped to his body.

Saudi Arabia has been battling a wave of Islamist militancy for the past year. An April 21st car bombing in the capital, Riyadh, killed five people and wounded nearly 150 others.

Eight Americans were among the 34 who died when suicide bombers attacked Riyadh housing compounds in May 2003.

Information for this report is provided by AP and Reuters.

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