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Hostages held at US Saudi mission

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bbc

Hostages held at US Saudi mission

 

Gunmen are holding a number of hostages after storming the US consulate in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

 

Saudi security forces are reported to be fighting to regain control of the compound, and flames and smoke can be seen rising from the compound.

 

Witnesses said a car exploded in the street outside the consulate before the attackers entered the compound.

 

Security sources quoted by Reuters say four Saudi guards were killed and 18 local staff taken hostage.

 

The news agency's reporter at the scene says ambulances are ferrying injured people from the complex.

 

Hundreds of Saudi police and National Guard soldiers have been deployed in the area, which has been sealed off.

 

Wave of bombings

 

Correspondents say security around the consulate has been extremely tight since a series of bombings by Islamist militants in Saudi Arabia began in 2003, mainly targeting buildings that house foreigners.

 

The last major attack was in May, when militants attacked oil companies and a housing compound in the eastern city of Khobar. Twenty-two foreigners and seven Saudi security men were killed.

 

"I can confirm there has been an attack on the US consulate in Jeddah. The incident is ongoing with Saudi security forces trying to secure the building," said Carol Kalin, a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Riyadh.

 

She said there was no word on American casualties.

 

"The embassy in Riyadh and the missions in Jeddah and Dhahran have been closed as a precaution," Ms Kalin added.

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salaam

 

this is terrible, why in the world they target innocent people, these people are just there to give Islam a bad image, there nothing but trouble makers.

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update: there were no hostages taken. The count didn't add up due to staff who had hid in the building.

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