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Saudi Arabia: Abqaiq Attack!

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    Saudi Arabia: Abqaiq Attack!

    Oil refinery attack foiled, Saudis say

    Vehicles reportedly were packed with explosives; pipeline fire started


    MSNBC News Services

    Updated: 11:26 a.m. ET Feb. 24, 2006

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Suicide bombers in explosives-laden vehicles attempted to attack the world’s largest oil processing facility on Friday, but were stopped when guards opened fire on them, causing the vehicles to explode, officials said.

    Saudi security adviser Nawaf Obaid said Saudi security forces fired on three cars packed with explosives as they rammed the outer gates, which are about a mile from the main entrance to the Abqaiq complex.

    “Three cars rammed the first of the three sets of gates protecting Abqaiq and when security shot at them all three cars exploded,” Obaid said.
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    [SIZE=2]Saudi security forces have foiled an apparent suicide car bomb attack on a major oil production facility in the eastern town of Abqaiq. [/SIZE]

    Guards opened fire on at least two cars carrying explosives as they tried to ram the gates. Two guards were killed.
    BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner says the attack is the first direct assault on Saudi oil production.
    The al-Qaeda network on the Arabian Peninsula has long called for attacks on Saudi oil installations.
    Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Nuaimi said output at the facility, which handles about two-thirds of the country's oil production, was unaffected by the attack.
    Click here for a map of Saudi Arabia's oil and gas pipelines

    Oil security analysts have estimated that a serious attack on the facility could halve Saudi exports for up to a year.
    On news of the attack, the price of crude oil for April delivery leapt as much as 3.4% to $62.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, its biggest gain since 17 January.
    An oil industry expert told the BBC News website that Abqaiq is an extremely important gathering point for crude oil coming in from several large oil fields.
    There the oil is processed to remove gas and render it less volatile.
    'Gun battle'
    Saudi officials said at least two cars packed with explosives tried to ram the gates of the facility in the eastern province of Dammam.

    Security guards opened fire, causing at least one of the vehicles to explode, killing the occupants.
    Two of the guards were killed, and another two were wounded, Saudi officials said.
    Mr al-Nuaimi said the blast caused a "small fire", which was brought under control.
    He denied earlier reports on al-Arabiya television that the attacks had briefly stopped the flow of oil after a pipeline was damaged.
    The cars carried the logo for Aramco, the state oil company.
    The Associated Press news agency quoted an unnamed Saudi journalist as saying guards battled with two other militants outside the plant for two hours.
    There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack but last September al-Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri called for attacks on oil facilities, saying oil revenues went to what he called "the enemies of Islam".
    Saudi Arabia has been fighting Islamic militants in the country for the past three years. Attackers have previously targeted oil company offices and compounds housing Westerners, while Saudi security forces have killed dozens of insurgents.
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    yeah...
    I live in this peaceful city...It was frightening...almost every house shook in the whole city...lots of choppers were circling the city...even the MOP of Aramco came to abqaiq for a meeting...They shut the whole complex down...
    but we had school today...they closed when we had bombing 3 hours away and they didnt close when it was right next to the blast...weird..isnt it?
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