More evidence of the double-mindedness within our “friend and ally” Saudi Arabia. From AP, with thanks to all those who sent this in:
JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia – Islamic militants threw explosives at the gate of the heavily guarded U.S. consulate in Jiddah, then forced their way into the building, prompting a gunbattle in a bold assault that left seven people dead and several injured before the three-hour long crisis was brought under control.
Several Americans were slightly injured, according to a State Department official in Washington.
Three attackers were among those killed, while two others were injured and arrested, the Saudi Interior Ministry announced. Saudi security officials also said four of their forces were killed. The ministry statement didn’t mention hostages, though Saudi security officials said some had been taken….
The attackers apparently made their way past Saudi security personnel into the interior of the diplomatic compound, the State Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity….
The statement by a Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman, carried by the official Saudi Press Agency, said a “stray bunch” “” a reference to Islamic militants “” threw explosives at the gate of the consulate, then entered. Saudi security forces engaged the attackers, “killing three aggressors, and two were captured after they were hit,” the statement said….
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But Saudi officials have blamed al-Qaida operatives for the string of attacks that have hit the kingdom in the past two years.
On Islamic militant Web sites, contributors began hailing the attack even before it was over, with one person praising it as “destruction of a bastion of atheism.”
“We were afraid about our brothers in the Arab peninsula, but this proves that they are well and sound, thank God,” said the person who made the posting, referring to recent Saudi crackdowns on militants.