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Saudi Terror Bomb Death Toll Raised to 34 - 2003-05-14


Five additional victims of the suicide bombings Monday in Saudi Arabia have died, raising the death toll to at least 34. Stricter security measures are being taken in the kingdom as the search continues for those responsible for plotting the attacks.

A team of agents from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation was heading for Saudi Arabia to help in the search for the masterminds behind the suicide bombings Monday in Riyadh.

Checkpoints are being set up throughout the kingdom as Saudi troops search for suspects.

Saudi officials say tougher security measures are being implemented across the country and they are asking citizens to cooperate.

The State Department has ordered all non-essential personnel at the American embassy in Riyadh to leave the kingdom.

U.S. and Saudi officials have said Monday's attacks in Riyadh against residential compounds, housing mostly Westerners, were likely the work of Osama bin Laden's terrorist organization al-Qaida, although no group has claimed responsibility.

Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz called the attackers bloodthirsty criminals and said they were trying to destroy Saudi society. He vowed to increase the fight against terrorism, saying he would not allow Monday's attacks to destabilize the kingdom. He said the terrorists were butchers and devoid of all Islamic and humane principles.

While most of the Arab world is condemning Monday's attacks, several newspapers in the region, including the widely read Arabic daily al-Ahram, suggested such attacks would continue unless the United States changes its policies in the region. The newspaper cited the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the U.S.-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as reasons for increased anger in the region.

Other Arab newspapers said attacks against civilians violate the teachings of Islam.

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