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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Apparent Explosion Rocks Saudi Capital Of Riyadh

Aired November 8, 2003 - 16:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KELLI ARENA, CNN ANCHOR: We are following a developing story about an apparent explosion in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. We are joined on the phone by Raid Qusti, who is the Riyadh bureau chief for Arab news. Sir, can you hear me?
RAID QUSTI, RIYADH BUREAU CHIEF, ARAB NEWS (via telephone): Yes, I can, ma'am.

ARENA: Can you tell us what you know at this point?

QUSTI: Preliminary reports are coming in that an explosion has indeed taken place in the capital. We have eyewitnesses that have seen plumes of smoke near the diplomatic quarter. The reports we are getting so far is that the explosion took place in Al Mejia complex, that is very close to the diplomatic quarters.

ARENA: Any indication of the extent of any damage or possible casualties at this point?

QUSTI: Not so far, but as you know, things are sketchy. The reports are still coming in. We have confirmed also that there were gunshots, several gunshots were heard before the explosion.

ARENA: Can you see anything from your vantage point.

QUSTI: No, ma'am. At the time, it's pretty much chaotic at the moment. Ambulances and police sirens are going off like crazy.

ARENA: All right. Well, we obviously are very interested in anything you can get on that story. That's Raid Qusti. He's the Riyadh bureau chief for the Arab News. We'll be getting back to you the minute we know more.

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