At least 29 people, including up to 10 Americans, were killed when suspected al Qaeda suicide bombers shot their way into housing compounds in the Saudi capital in the first big attack on Americans since the Iraq war. Three massive, coordinated car bombs went off hours before Secretary of State Colin Powell made a scheduled brief visit to Riyadh on Tuesday as part of a tour to explain U.S. Middle East policy following last month’s overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Powell visited one walled expatriates’ complex housing U.S. defense contractors and saw for himself the devastation wrought as residents slept. Entire walls of apartment blocks collapsed when the bombers charged past armed guards with guns blazing and then detonated their vehicles packed with explosives. “This was a well-planned terrorist attack,” Powell said. “It has all the fingerprints of an al Qaeda operation.” “These despicable acts were committed by killers whose only faith is hate, and the United States will find the killers and they will learn the meaning of American justice,” said President Bush in Indianapolis. “The war on terror continues.” Accounts of the death toll varied, with Powell saying up to 10 Americans died and Saudi authorities confirming 20 victims, including seven dead Americans, as well as nine dead attackers. Full Story
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