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The BBC's Frank Gardner
"An unkown number were injured"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 9 August, 2000, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Gun attack on Saudi expats' housing

By Middle East correspondent Frank Gardner

A gunman has opened fire outside a complex housing British and US workers at an airbase in Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi guard at the Khamis Mushayt base was killed and several others injured in the incident.

No Britons or Americans are thought to have been injured, and the base has been sealed while an investigation gets under way.

The gunman was captured alive and is now being questioned.

Families living at Khamis Mushayt were woken shortly after dawn by a lengthy exchange of gunfire.

A British expatriate working for the firm British Aerospace told the BBC that a lone Saudi gunman opened fire on the Saudi police who were guarding the compound.

British Aerospace says the airbase houses around 400 British employees and their families and a similar number of Americans.

Resentful

The gunman's motive is not yet known, but it is thought that he may have been deranged to carry out the attack alone on a well-armed guardpost.

Almost none of the western expatriates at the base are military personnel, but some Saudi Islamists are deeply resentful of the British and American forces who do serve in the country.

During the mid-1990s there were two bomb attacks on US military installations in Saudi Arabia, which killed over 20 US servicemen.

According to the US Government, the real culprits for those attacks have never been caught.

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