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Witnesses: Renewed Gunfire at Saudi Oil Complex Where Western Hostages Held - 2004-05-29

Witnesses have reported bursts of gunfire at the Saudi housing complex where Islamic militants were holding more than 50 people hostage.

They say renewed fighting erupted early this (Sunday) morning at the Oasis residential complex in the oil city of Khobar, where four gunmen and the hostages have been holed up for hours. The gunmen took refuge there after killing at least 10 Saudis and foreigners in a Saturday attack in the oil city of Khobar.

Saudi officials say many of the hostages are Westerners.

In a posting on an Islamist Web site, a group calling itself "al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula" claimed responsibility for the attack. It says the group is fighting against U-S companies it describes as stealing Muslim oil wealth. The claim has not been authenticated.

Crown Prince Abdullah vowed to eradicate the militants, who he says want to cause havoc and destabilize Saudi Arabia.

Earlier this month, militants killed at least five Westerners at an energy complex in the Red Sea city of Yanbu.
Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP