A video grab shows Saudi police standing near a burnt vehicle after the attack in Yanbu on May 1, 2004. (Reuters TV/Reuters)
Further details about yesterday’s shooting in Saudi Arabia.
YANBU, Saudi Arabia (AP) – More than 100 non-Saudi workers were set to leave the country Sunday, one day after militants sprayed gunfire inside an oil contractor’s office, killing at least six people before tying a body to the bumper of a car and dragging it past horrified students at a high school. Two Americans and three other Westerners were among the dead.
Bjorn Edlund, spokesman for multinational engineering company ABB, told The Associated Press that all of its non-Saudi workers in Yanbu had asked to leave. More than 100 employees and their families – most of them American but including Britons, Australians, Filipinos and Indians – were set to depart in the next few days, Edlund said from Zurich, Switzerland.
Police killed the four gunmen in a shootout after a car chase. One of the attackers was reported to be on the Saudi kingdom’s list of most-wanted terrorists, many of them suspects in 2003 suicide attacks on foreign housing compounds in the capital, Riyadh. The two attacks were blamed on al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden’s terror network.
Students told the AP on Sunday that bearded men drove a car drove into the parking lot of the Ibn Hayyan Secondary Boys School as classes began Saturday, the start of the school week. They fired into the air to attract students’ attention, then urged the boys to go to an Iraqi city where U.S. troops are battling insurgents.
“God is great! God is great! Come join your brothers in Fallujah!” they shouted. Pointing to the bloodied and badly damaged corpse, his clothes shredded, they screamed: “This is the president of America.”
Students and school officials said some of the boys ran crying from the scene. An 18-year-old student, who gave only his first name, Rayyan, said he saw three bearded men in the car.
“I was shocked and terrified when I saw them. I just froze. I didn’t know what to do,” he said, his voice shaking. “I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t sleep the whole night. I have been having nightmares. …This thing has changed my life forever.”
“This is not right,” he said. “This is un-Islamic.”
What exactly? Terrorism? Or terrorism against Muslims in Saudi Arabia?