Six Dead (latest figure) in Al Khobar near Dhahran SA
CNN is reporting 6 dead in three separate shootings in Al Khobar. Combining the links below, it appears there were shootings at (at least) 2 residential compounds and at the "Al Khobar Petroleum Center" - which is, actually, the Al Rashid Petroleum Centre on Doha Rd. approx 3 miles North of "downtown" Al Khobar.

Many Western companies doing business with SCECO and ARAMCO in Dhahran have offices in The Petroleum Centre, including Total, SAIC’s Saudi Affilliate SSAI, and many others. There are several housing compounds within a very short distance (only 100 yds to the first of 4 Al Bustan compounds) from the Centre, including the Al Bustan compounds (referred to as Al Bustan Village), Al Rashid I & II, and Lotus. One report named 2 compounds, Oasis and Rami - Oasis is approx 1 mile away and I’m not sure where "Rami" is located, relative to the Centre. Oasis is a very expensive high-rise apt bldg and is occupied, mainly, by Saudis.

Accounts vary as to the identities and nationalities of the victims. Some reports even indicate hostage(s) may have been taken and children among the casualties.

I lived in one of the Al Bustan compounds and my JVC (Joint Venture Co) Contracting company was located in the Rashid PetCentre. I have emailed them to see if they have any information, but I don’t really expect them to stop whatever they’re doing to answer me today. If they were not among the victims (they’re on the ground floor) and have the chance, I assure you they are smart enough to get the hell out.

Please update the comments as information develops.
Rooters (most recent at time of posting)
RTE News

Arab News version, as of 9:20 p.m. EST...
Terrorists killed at least 17 people and wounded eight yesterday in a series of dramatic attacks before taking 50 foreigners hostage at a luxury housing compound here. “There are Americans, but there are more Italians. There are also Arabs,” said a manager at the Oasis Compound, declining to be named. Gunfire and a blast were heard several hours after security forces surrounded a building in the compound where four gunmen were holding the captives following a shooting spree that began at 7.30 in the morning. At the time of going to press, security forces had shut down power and were waiting to storm the building. A policeman said the militants were using the hostages as human shields and that officials were trying to negotiate. “Security forces are worried about storming because the gunmen have grenades,” he said. Eastern Province Governor Prince Muhammad ibn Fahd visited the site of the operation in the afternoon.
I'm sure that made all the difference...
The first target of the gunmen was the APICORP compound which houses the headquarters of the Arab Petroleum Investment Corporation as well as its housing facilities. According to eyewitness accounts, four attackers in army uniform between 17 and 21 arrived at the gate and asked where company staff were housed. When the two security guards tried to stop them they opened fire, killing both.
"Between 17 and 21" would imply they're young 'uns. No masterminds here, just cannon fodder...
Stray bullets hit the fuel tank of a GMC Suburban with four school children arriving at the gate from the housing facility, setting it ablaze. Three students and the driver escaped from the burning vehicle but a 10-year-old Egyptian boy died trapped in the flames. A passing Briton and a Filipino employee were also caught in the hail of bullets. The Filipino later succumbed to his injuries, according to unconfirmed reports.

In the second attack around 7.50 a.m., the attackers sprayed the Petroleum Center here with bullets killing three people — an American, a Filipino and a Pakistani. Witnesses said they saw three men with Western features lying on the ground covered with newspapers. Those bodies were taken away in ambulances, they said. Saudi Television showed footage of a man with Western features, slumped in his car, apparently shot dead. It also showed a charred car and a third blood-spattered vehicle. Witnesses said the attackers dragged the body of one of the victims along the Dammam-Khobar Highway for two kilometers before dumping him near a bridge.
Just like last time...
Witnesses said the militants used a small car and were accompanied by another sports utility vehicle. Security forces stopped the men at the Sports City signal and engaged them in a gunbattle. An Indian, identified as Lawrence Gregory of Karnataka, was killed in crossfire. Shortly afterward firing started at the heavily guarded Oasis Compound. Before security forces could catch up the terrorists entered and took more than 50 hostages. Witnesses said four Saudi security men were also killed in a shootout with the gunmen yesterday morning at the Oasis Compound.
Those'd be the ones who aren't on the Bad Guys' side...
The Interior Ministry said “a number of citizens and (foreign) residents were killed or wounded” after four gunmen “shot indiscriminately at the premises of a company and a residential compound in Alkhobar.” The US Embassy said one American was confirmed dead. APICORP said three of its employees were among the dead. Philippine Ambassador Bahnarim Guinomla confirmed to Arab News in a phone interview yesterday afternoon from Riyadh that two Filipinos were believed killed in the Alkhobar terror attack, and two Filipinos were wounded. A Lebanese man reported to have been taken hostage said he and his family were locked in their home several hours after the attacks began. “At 9 a.m., a gunman knocked at the door of our villa, checked whether we were foreigners (Westerners), and ordered us to stay at home, saying he and his comrades were outside,” Abdel Salam Hakawati told AFP by telephone. Hakawati, his wife and son, in addition to two other Lebanese nationals, were earlier reported by diplomats to have been taken hostage and later released.
I guess they're Muslims, rather than Lebanese Christians...
An Oasis Compound employee said the militants had asked residents to show identity cards to find out their religions. “(The militants) were asking people if they were Christian or Muslims,” he said.
That's 'cuz Islam's the most tolerant of religions...
The Philippine ambassador revealed that he had talked several times to a Filipino receptionist working at the Oasis Tower Hotel in the compound, which houses mainly top business executives from a number of countries and different sectors “The receptionist called the embassy and asked to talk to me. He told me that he and the 26 guests at the hotel were holed up in their respective rooms, waiting for the all-clear from the police.” The police ordered the guests and the receptionist to lock their rooms when the attack on the compound started, according to Guinomla. The small hotel is believed to have six floors, and was used by executives visiting Saudi Arabia. An announcement posted on a Website claimed Al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks, but the claim could not immediately be verified.
Oh, well. In that case I'll suspect Lutherans and Hare Krishnas, too...
“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,” said a statement signed by the “Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arabian Peninsula.” The e-mail said the assault 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.”
You can tell they're honorable Muslim yoots by the number of hostages...
Oil industry sources said Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi was set to meet Western oil company executives in Dhahran to reassure them after the attack.
Reassure them of what?
Situated in the Golden Belt area off the Dammam-Khobar Highway, the Oasis Compound was the top housing complex in the Eastern Province. The compound has two restaurants and a health club that were popular with Saudis and expatriates alike. Non-residents too could apply for membership in the exclusive health club. The heavily-fortified residential complex was frequented by executives of various sectors. Residents too were of different nationalities and held top positions in various companies. The chairman of the Saad Group, which owns the compound, Maan Al-Sanea, was with the security forces throughout the siege.
Posted by: .com 2004-05-29