Due uomini della BBC sparati in Arabia Saudita
il cameraman Simon Cumbers è stato ucciso mentre i l corrispondente FRank Gardner ferito in un attacco armato vicino Ryad
7 giugno 2004
Fonte: BBC on line
Two BBC men shot in Saudi Arabia BBC cameraman Simon Cumbers has been killed and security correspondent Frank Gardner seriously injured in a gun attack near the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Irishman Cumbers, 36, was a freelance journalist and cameraman while Gardner, 42, is the BBC's security correspondent and a leading expert on al-Qaeda. Gardner underwent surgery, after which his condition was critical but stable. Riyadh's police chief said the attack was carried out by "unknown elements" on Sunday afternoon. The BBC said the two men had travelled to Saudi Arabia last week following terrorist attacks in the city of Khobar and had been reporting from the country for BBC News since then. BBC Director of News Richard Sambrook said that Gardner "suffered, I gather, a number of gunshot wounds". "Our thoughts are with the families of Simon and Frank. We are in touch with them and offering them all the support that we can," he added. UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw offered his own sympathy and support. "Frank Gardner is an outstanding reporter who always seeks to do everything he can to explain the dangerous world we live in to the BBC audience," he said. "I have nothing but admiration for journalists like Mr Gardner who know their lives are at risk as they go about their work." The Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Turki al-Faisal, offered "the most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families" of Cumbers and Gardner. We will not allow this incident or any other attack to deter us from our goal, the eradication of this wicked group whose aim is to destabilise our society Prince Turki al-Faisal Saudi ambassador to UK Send us your reaction "Frank Gardner is personally known to me and to many people in Saudi Arabia as a highly respected journalist," the Saudi ambassador added. "He has been vigorous in his pursuit of the truth behind the terrible evil of al-Qaeda which haunts us all and we wish him a speedy recover and safe return to his family in Britain." The attack comes a week after the hostage crisis in Khobar, in which 22 people were killed. The reports Gardner and Cumbers had already filed from Saudi Arabia spoke of a new climate of fear among expatriates there, the BBC's Paul Welsh reports. Sunday's tragedy highlights the reality of what the two men were trying to report - that al-Qaeda supporters are making Saudi Arabia increasingly dangerous for foreigners, our correspondent adds. Security fears The southern Riyadh neighbourhood where the gun attack took place, al-Suwaydi, has been the location for anti-terror raids in the past, news station al-Arabiya reported. Cumbers had worked throughout the world filming major news stories Security sources said the gunmen had escaped and roadblocks had been set up in an effort to catch them, the Reuters news agency reported. The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to Saudi, with officials believing terrorists are planning further attacks after the Khobar killings. Three of the gunmen responsible for the Khobar attack, thought to be linked with al-Qaeda, were able to escape the security cordon in Khobar. And there are thought to be a number of al-Qaeda linked cells operating in the country. Five suspected militants were killed within days of the Khobar attack and the Saudi government has vowed to stamp out terror, with the religious authorities calling on Muslims to inform on plotters. Commentators say Islamist extremists may be targeting expatriates and the oil industry in order to weaken the ruling house's grip on power. The Khobar siege helped push world oil prices to record highs before producers pledged to hike output. It followed a string of other attacks in the kingdom, with two Britons among five Westerners shot dead in the port town of Yanbu on 1 May.