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US officials backtrack on 91 death toll from Saudi blasts

A preliminary death toll of 91 given by the State Department for the suicide bomb attacks three expatriate housing compounds in the Saudi capital is likely too high, US officials said. The officials, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said the exact toll was still uncertain but that the final figure would likely be closer to the estimate of 29 dead from the blasts on Monday night given by the Saudi Interior Ministry. “We’re hearing now that the 91 figure is high,” one official said. “The Saudi figure is a good ballpark number for the moment, but as they go through the rubble we’ll be in a better position to know.” Another US official said the Saudi number was almost certainly still too low for the amount of damage done to the complexes but cautioned that all the figures were “very preliminary.” “Ninety-one was the number that was being talked about earlier, but its going to move around some before people are really able to nail it down,” the second official said. However, that official added: “It’s definitely going to be higher than 29.” Full Story

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