U.S. Consulate in Jiddah Increases Security after Attack from Gunman

A gunman opened fire on guards at the U.S. Consulate in Jiddah on Friday, and the guards shot back, wounding the man, a security spokesman said.

The gunman was arrested and security officials were questioning him, Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Mansour al-Turki. It was not immediately known if the gunman was linked to Islamic militant groups who have carried out attacks in the kingdom over the past three years.

No one else was wounded in the attack, the state news agency said.

The man fired on the consulate guards as he drove by in his car, al-Turki said. "The guards returned fire wounding the man," he said. The man fled into a nearby building, where he was captured, the news agency said.

A U.S. Embassy official in Riyadh, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of embassy rules, said only that an "incident" occurred at the consulate at 5:30 p.m.

In December 2004, gunmen invaded the heavily guarded U.S. Consulate in Jiddah, held civilians at gunpoint. Five consulate employees from the Middle East and Asia and four attackers were killed.

Al-Qaida-linked militants have carried out a wave of attacks in the kingdom since 2003, but Saudi security forces have claimed a series of victories against them, killing many of their top leaders.

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