US: Saudi Housing Compound Assailant Appears to Have Acted Alone
A student who opened fire on a housing compound for foreigners in southern Saudi Arabia, killing one person, appears to have acted alone, the United States said Wednesday.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said information made available by Saudi authorities after the attacker's arrest seemed to discount speculation that the shooting was the latest in a recent series of deadly anti-American attacks in the kingdom.
"The incident is still under investigation, but from the preliminary information that we have so far, it appears to be an isolated incident, an individual who acted alone," Boucher told reporters.
A police officer was killed and two people, including an American, were injured in the attack earlier Wednesday at the complex in Khamis Msheit about 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) southwest of Riyadh, according to Saudi officials and diplomats based there.
Boucher said all the US nationals in the development were safe, although one had suffered superficial injuries from flying glass.
Washington is particularly sensitive to such incidents in Saudi Arabia, especially since a 1996 truck bomb outside the Khobar Towers American military barracks in the eastern part of the country killed 19 and an attack the previous year against US military advisors killed seven people.
"We certainly are quite aware of the even more terrible bombing at Khobar Towers and other events that have occurred in Saudi Arabia," Boucher said.
"It is a dangerous region, and our personnel who are there take very seriously the need to maintain security."
However, he added, there were no plans to upgrade security at US facilities there or to revise the department's consular information sheet on Saudi Arabia because of Wednesday's attack -- WASHINGTON (AFP)
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