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Monday, December 06, 2004

Muslims Fail In Jeddah Attack

Eight Killed in Attack on U.S. Mission in Jeddah.

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (al-Reuters) - Muslim militants stormed the heavily fortified U.S. consulate in Jeddah on Monday, killing five non-American staffers, before Saudi forces shot dead three attackers and captured two to regain control.

It was the first major militant assault in Saudi Arabia since May. The bloodshed in the Red Sea port indicated that the fight against Saudi-born Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda network in the world's biggest oil exporter is far from over.

President Bush said the attack showed that "the terrorists are still on the move" and linked them to insurgents in Iraq, where violence threatens elections set for January.

"They want us to leave Saudi Arabia, they want us to leave Iraq, they want us to grow timid and weary in the face of their willingness to kill randomly, kill innocent people. That's why these elections in Iraq are very important," Bush said.

"Members of the deviant group this morning threw explosives at the gate of the U.S. consulate in Jeddah and then entered the compound," a Saudi Interior Ministry official said on state television, using the government's language for al Qaeda.

"The security forces dealt with the situation and managed to control it. Three of the attackers were killed and two were arrested after they were wounded," he said. ...

Witnesses said the militants had hauled down the U.S. flag and burned it after bursting into the mission.

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