A tragic incident unfolded at the US consulate in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah, resulting in the deaths of a security guard and a gunman.
According to officials, the exchange of gunfire occurred on Wednesday and prompted a lockdown of the consulate.
There were no Americans harmed during the shooting, as confirmed by the State Department.
The Saudi Press Agency reported that approximately 6:45 pm (1545 GMT), an individual parked a car in front of the consulate and emerged with a weapon in hand.
“Security forces swiftly responded, leading to a confrontation that ended with the assailant’s demise,” officials said.
Regrettably, a security officer from Nepal sustained injuries and, later on, succumbed to them.
In Washington, the State Department expressed condolences to the deceased guard’s family and loved ones through a statement.
The State Department also disclosed that the Saudi forces had neutralized the assailant and that the United States was coordinating with Saudi Arabia during the initial stages of the investigation.
The consulate had been securely locked down, ensuring the safety of all American personnel present during the attack.
This incident took place as Saudi Arabia welcomed around 1.8 million Muslim pilgrims for the annual hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, situated approximately 70 kilometers (44 miles) away from Jeddah.
It is worth noting that the US consulate in Jeddah has previously been targeted in attacks, including a suicide bombing on July 4, 2016, and another assault in December 2004 that claimed the lives of five individuals.
Jeddah has recently emerged as a significant center for US diplomatic efforts, as both the United States and Saudi Arabia collaborate to mediate between conflicting generals in Sudan. Earlier in June, Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Jeddah, where he held discussions with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Source: Agence France-Presse