29 May 2004 Al-Khobar massacres

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In the 29 May 2004 Al-Khobar massacres, four Islamist terrorists attacked two oil industry installations and the foreign workers' housing complex, The Oasis, in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia, taking more than 50 hostages and killing 22 of them. They asked the hostages if they were Christians or Muslims and let the Muslims go.

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Saudi commandos storming the building in which the hostages are being held
On May 30, Saudi commandos stormed the Oasis housing compound where the terrorists held the hostages. Despite live dramatic footage of this, three of the terrorists had already escaped, using hostages as human shields and stealing a car. Another was captured. 41 hostages were freed, 25 were injured and 22 were killed, among them 19 foreigners. It is widely believed that Saudi security forces somehow faciliated the perpetrators' escape, given that it was broad daylight and the Oasis compound was surrounded by hundreds of armed soldiers, police officers, and reporters when the terrorists managed to escape.

The nationalities of those killed include eight people from India, three from the Philippines, two from Sri Lanka, one from Sweden, one Italian, one from England, an American, one from South Africa and an Egyptian.

Several of the hostages had their throats slit. Among them were an Italian cook, Antonio Amato (35), and a Swedish cook, Magnus Johanssons (50), who had taken a job in Saudia Arabia because of the good payment he received. The terrorists' main targets were Americans; Frank Floyd, who worked as an assistant marketing director for Resources Sciences Arabia Ltd, was the only American who was killed. Most of the killings took place in the compound's Italian restaurant, Casa Mia, where Amato and Johanssons worked.

Some foreigners either fled the country or were evacuated by the companies they worked for after the killings, as they felt it was too dangerous to stay. Several thousand Americans and other Westerners, notably those who work for Saudi Aramco and live on Saudi Aramco's mammoth compound, did stay in the area. Westerners in Saudi Arabia are paid extremely well, get vast benefits and ample vacation time.

A previously unheard-of militant group calling itself "The Jerusalem Squadron" -- a Saudi Arabian al-Qaeda faction -- claimed responsibility and said they were attacking "Zionists and Crusaders" who are there to "steal our oil and resources". An audio tape was released in which Abdulaziz al-Muqrin, thought to be one of al-Qaida's leaders in Saudia Arabia, took responsibility. On the tape he said "among the killed was a Japanese who was slaughtered because USA have mixed his tribe into the war against Muslims". According to the Saudi Ambassador in Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the goal of the terrorists was to shake Saudi Arabia's stability and economy.

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