Gunmen kill 22 people at Saudi facility associated with Halliburton
Sunday, May 30, 2004
AL-KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia, May 30 (Summary of Agence France Press/Other Wire reports) - Saudi Arabia's military stormed an apartment building containing hostages held by gunmen believed to be members of the al-Qaeda terror network. The gunmen had taken more than 50 hostages in a seige that resluted in the death of 22 people, including one American. The gunmen had conducted a rampage through a sprawling walled compound in the town of al-Khobar before taking the hostages. Several hostages were reported dead after the government rescue, but it was uncertain whether the deaths occurred during the rescue operation or by the al-Qaeda captors. The suspected al-Qaeda gunmen also attacked the Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation (Apicorp) and a "Petroleum Center" where oil firms have offices. It was the second al-Qaeda attack in Saudi Arabia in less than a month. The U.S. embassy called on Americans to leave Saudi Arabia. London newspapers reported that the body of a British national, identified as Michael Hamilton, was dragged for over a mile behind a car. He worked for Apicorp, an arm of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries. A total of three Agicorp employees have been killed, but the nationalties of each were not readily available. An organization known as the "Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arabian Peninsula" released a statement saying, "The heroic mujahedeen in the Jerusalem Squad were able, by the grace of God, to raid the locations of American companies... specializing in oil and exploration activities and which are plundering the Muslims' resources, on Saturday morning." The organization said it targeted the facilities "affiliated to the US occupation company Halliburton" and praised the attackers as "an honorable example of Muslim youth in the Arabian Peninsula."