Riyadh Bombing

WaPo/Reuters: Car Bomb Explodes Near Government Buildings in Saudi Capital

A car rigged with explosives blew up near Saudi government buildings in the capital Riyadh on Wednesday, in what officials said was a “terrorist” attack.

Unconfirmed reports say at least 10 people were killed and dozens wounded on Wednesday when a car bomb destroyed a Saudi security service building in the capital, witnesses said.

An Arab television station which reported the body of a suspected “suicide bomber” had been found. It seemed more people may have died, however.

“The front of a building is blown off and smoke is still rising,” a Reuters correspondent said from the scene.

The kingdom, a key U.S. ally and the world’s largest oil exporter, is battling a tide of Islamist militancy linked to Saudi-born Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network.

Last week, Washington ordered non-essential diplomats out of the Gulf state and warned Americans they should leave, citing fresh signals of possible attacks on U.S. and Western interests.

Ambulances rushed toward the site and smoke billowed from damaged buildings in the area, which houses the state television centre, the Information Ministry and a security forces building.

There was no official report of casualties but Dubai-based Arab satellite television channel Al Arabiya said one person, a suspected suicide bomber, was killed and several wounded.

Update: NYT Security Building in Saudi Capital Is Destroyed by Bombs

The attack happened on the second day of a four-day international conference on terrorism, which opened in Riyadh with a call for peace and tolerance, the newspaper, The Saudi Gazette, reported on Tuesday.

Terrorist activity in the Riyadh region in recent days has left six security officers and one militant dead, the newspaper said.

Last year, suicide bombings at foreign residential compounds in Riyadh killed 50 people, including 9 Americans.

On Monday, the Gazette said, Crown Prince Abdullah told his cabinet that “This clique of terrorists, which seeks to undermine the stability of the country can only increase the cohesion and unity of Saudis,” adding that every citizen is a member of the security services.

The conference, the Gazette reported, is aimed at uncovering the roots of terrorism, violence and extremism, outlining the moderation and tolerance of Islam and refuting what the Saudis say are allegations circulated by foreign news media against the kingdom.

Interesting.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. delta dave says:

    “The attack happened on the second day of a four-day international conference on terrorism, which opened in Riyadh with a call for peace and tolerance,…”

    Does this mean the answer to the call for P&T was “no”? I don’t speak Arabic, so just wondering?

  2. Attila Girl says:

    The folks in AQ are certainly making themselves a lot of friends–all over the region.