Explosions rock central Riyadh

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The Independent Online

Loud explosions rocked the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh today, severely damaging the administrative headquarters of Saudi security just days after a US warning of possible terror attacks. At least two people were killed and dozens were injured.

Loud explosions rocked the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh today, severely damaging the administrative headquarters of Saudi security just days after a US warning of possible terror attacks. At least two people were killed and dozens were injured.

One of the explosions caused major damage to the General Security building, which is affiliated to the Interior Ministry in al-Nassiriyah neighborhood in central Riyadh.

Fire brigades worked to extinguish the fire that engulfed the General Security building and more than 20 ambulances were sent to the scene.

The explosions came only days after Saudi authorities announced they had seized three booby-trapped SUVs that were loaded with a total of more than four tons of explosives and had apparently been abandoned by militants involved in a shootout with security forces.

The United States last week ordered the departure of nonessential US government employees and family members from Saudi Arabia. It also urged private citizens to leave the kingdom, and the US Embassy in Riyadh issued an advisory warning of "credible indications of terrorist threats aimed at American and Western interests in Saudi Arabia."

Last year, the Saudi capital suffered two major attacks by suicide bombers driving vehicles filled with explosives. A total of 51 people were killed in the May and November bombings, including the assailants.

The Saudis pursued terrorists and Islamic extremists vigorously after those attacks, arresting hundreds of people.

The attacks were blamed on al-Qa'ida.

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