US warns Western oil workers in Saudi of attacks

A US mission statement did not identify the source of the threats and said no details were available on the planned attacks.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sat 14 Mar 2015, 8:13 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:09 PM

Riyadh - Western oil workers in Saudi Arabia risk being attacked or kidnapped by “terrorist” groups in Saudi Arabia, the US embassy in Riyadh said in a warning posted online.

The US mission said it “has information stating that, as of early March, individuals associated with a terrorist organisation could be targeting Western oil workers, possibly to include those US citizens working for oil companies in the Eastern Province, for an attack(s) and/or kidnapping(s)”.

The statement, which was published on the embassy website late on Friday, did not identify the source of the threats and said no details were available on the planned attacks.

Saudi Arabia is taking part in US-led air strikes that began in September against the Daesh group in Syria, raising concerns about possible retaliation.

Westerners in Saudi Arabia have come under attack four times since October.

The latest was last month when US defence contractor Vinnell Arabia said two of its American employees were shot at in Eastern Province, where most of the kingdom’s oil wealth is concentrated.

Saudi police said that one of them was wounded but results of the investigation that followed have not yet been revealed.

In October, another Vinnell employee was shot dead and another wounded at a petrol station in Riyadh, in what Saudi authorities have said was not a “terrorist-related” incident.

A Dane was wounded in November as he was driving away from his workplace when he was fired upon from another car.

Authorities said the three Saudis arrested on suspicion of involvement in that attack had acted “in support of” the Daesh group.

A week after the Dane’s shooting, someone stabbed and wounded a Canadian while he shopped at a mall on Saudi Arabia’s Gulf coast.

“All US citizens are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, and take extra precautions when travelling throughout the country,” said the US embassy, urging citizens to “carefully consider the risks of travelling to Saudi Arabia”. 

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