Saudi militants inspired by al-Qaeda have published a graphic account on the internet of last weekend’s raid in Khobar that left 22 people dead.
Western diplomats in Riyadh say it almost exactly matches their own independent findings.
It gives an extraordinary insight into the killing of non-Muslim expatriates.
The militants appear to have been little troubled by the Saudi security forces as they went about their grisly work on a housing compound.
“We had planned to detonate an explosive-laden truck inside the compound”, says the statement posted on the internet, “but because entering the compound was so easy there was no need.”
The account continues: “We entered the compound, checked the identities of the occupants, spotted a Swede, then Nimr” – one of the attackers – “cut his throat. We left the body at the main gate for others to see”, it says.
The al-Qaeda-linked militants then say they heard security patrols outside the compound but say the patrols were too afraid to enter until 45 minutes later.
“We killed Filipinos and Hindus”, says the account.
“We went to the hotel on the compound, ate breakfast in the restaurant and rested. We then entered the first floor and killed more Hindus” – meaning Indian workers.
The account claims the attackers had time to conduct a live interview with an Arab TV station before beating back a police attack, then killing an Italian.
On the Sunday morning, it claims, the group left the housing compound at dawn, with one of their number fatally wounded but taking no hostages with them.
The account says the militants then watched the TV coverage of the Saudi special forces attacking the hotel hours after they had left.
It insists the Egyptian child who was shot dead in the raid was not killed by them.
Finally, says the militants’ message, “we are all well and will continue with such operations”.
The Saudi authorities are still hunting for the perpetrators.