Dubai: Saudi Security forces killed an armed man near the US Consulate in Jeddah, where a Nepalese worker was killed in the shootout between the assailant and the security force, the Saudi Press Agency SPA said on Wednesday.
The Nepali victim was a security guard at the consulate. The incident took place at 6:45pm on Wednesday.
According to SPA, the assailant parked his car near the US consulate and got out carrying a firearm. The shootout between the assailant and the security forces resulted in injuring the worker who died shortly later.
The spokesperson of Mecca Police stated that ongoing security investigations are being conducted to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident.
“On Wednesday evening at 6:45pm, a person in a car stopped near the American Consulate building in Jeddah and got out carrying a firearm in his hand. Security authorities took the initiative to deal with him as required by the situation,” the statement read.
The shooting coincided with the final day of the Hajj at nearby Mecca. More than 1.6 million foreign pilgrims arriving on planes and boats have streamed through coastal Jeddah en route to the rituals.
“Security investigations are still underway to ascertain the circumstances” of the incident, the police spokesman said.
Consulate locked down and no Americans harmed
The gunman’s nationality has not been revealed. US officials said no Americans were hurt and that the consulate had been secured.
“We offer our sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased local guards member,” the State Department said in a statement in Washington.
“The consulate was appropriately locked down and no Americans were harmed in the attack,” it said.
The United States was in touch with the kingdom as it starts its investigation, the statement added.
2004 attack killed 5 non-American staff and contractors
The US consulate in the Red Sea city has been the target of previous attacks, including one on July 4, 2016 - American Independence Day - when a suicide bomber blew himself up.
In December 2004, the consulate was stormed by suspected Islamist extremists in an attack that left five non-American staff and contractors dead, as well as four gunmen.
That attack, claimed by Al Qaida’s Saudi branch, was the first on a diplomatic mission in Saudi Arabia but one of a string of bombings and shootings in the kingdom at the time.
In recent times, Jeddah has been a hub of US diplomatic activity as the United States and Saudi Arabia together try to mediate between warring generals in Sudan.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the city earlier this month when he met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. -- With AFP inputs