Briton dies in 'Twelfth Night' suicide blast

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The Independent Online

A Briton killed in a suspected suicide car bomb attack on a theatre in Qatar was today named by the Foreign Office.

A Briton killed in a suspected suicide car bomb attack on a theatre in Qatar was today named by the Foreign Office.

Jonathan Adams was left dead when the blast rocked the building in the capital Doha during a performance of Twelfth Night.

Around a dozen people were injured in the attack on the Doha Players Theatre where around 100 Western expatriates and locals were gathered.

Eyewitnesses described scenes of chaos and pandemonium following the blast which happened at 6.15pm GMT (9.15pm local time) just as the play with a mostly-British cast was ending.

Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV said Egyptian Omar Ahmed Abdullah carried out the suicide car bomb attack.

Police were today carrying out forensic tests close to the cordoned-off theatre in Doha's Farek Kelab northern suburb.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman named the dead Briton as Jonathan Adams but could not say whether he lived in Qatar or the UK.

"We have contacted next of kin and they don't want us to release any information," she said.

"We believe at least 12 other people were injured but we have no knowledge at this stage of what their nationalities are."

Eyewitness Ahmed Goudah said the explosion left dozens of cars smashed, with some engulfed in flames.

"I saw people lying on the ground. I think they were in shock because of the explosion. They were mostly foreigners," he said.

The Qatar Interior Ministry said a car bomb caused the explosion and an investigation was under way.

In a statement the ministry statement said 12 other people were injured in the blast, 10 of whom had already been released from the hospital.

Eric Mattey, a spokesman for the British embassy in Doha, described the scene after yesterday's explosion.

He told Sky News: "It was chaotic. One of the buildings was completely flattened. It took the fire brigade a while to put the fire out and there was pandemonium in the area."

Most of the theatre's members are from the UK, although other nationalities are represented, according to the Doha Players' website.

Sarah Jenkins, an expatriate in Doha, told Sky News: "Security for the theatre is basically non-existent, because why would it be a target?

"They have security guards for shows, but if someone planted a car bomb, how would they know, how would you stop it, there would be cars parked all around the building."

Brigadier General Ahmed Al Hayki of the Interior Ministry told local reporters that most of the wounded were Qataris, other Arabs and Asians.

The car bomb exploded close to the Doha English Speaking School which has 650 pupils, 50 per cent of whom are British.

Headmaster Steve Fletcher told The Sunday Telegraph: "The explosion was deafening. It definitely sounded like a bomb. The blast has damaged some of the school but thankfully none of the staff was injured.

"There are parts of a car on our playing fields 200 yards from the site of the explosion. It must have been caused by a car bomb."

No group has said it carried out the attack. Western embassies rank the threat from terrorism in Qatar as high.

It is reported that Al-Qaeda has threatened to target Westerners living in the region.

Energy-rich Qatar is a close ally of the US in the Gulf. The country is home to the US Central Command's forward operations in the Middle East.

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