(ABC) Saudi security forces have killed one of the gunmen who attacked the US consulate in the Saudi city of Jeddah and have arrested two others, security sources said.
They say that two more gunmen were being surrounded by the Saudi national guards inside the consulate compound.
The attackers had reportedly killed four Saudi guards and taken 18 local staff hostage in their assault on the mission in the Red Sea port city.
About 200 police and national guards have sealed off the area.
“I can confirm there has been an attack on the US consulate in Jeddah,” said US embassy spokeswoman Carol Kalin.
“The incident is ongoing with Saudi security forces trying to secure the building.”
A senior US official says all Americans at the US consulate in Jeddah are safe and accounted for.
“There appear to be three armed attackers who are being pursued in the compound by the Saudi National Guard at this time,” the official said.
“The situation is in flux.”
Security sources and Ms Kalin said they could not confirm if the attackers used a car bomb or grenades in the attack.
Two plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the building. Gunfire could also be heard.
“The embassy in Riyadh and the missions in Jeddah and Dhahran have been closed as a precaution,” Ms Kalin added. “We are still trying to gather information.”
A wave of violence which Saudi Arabia blames on the Al Qaeda network of Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden has killed about 90 people and wounded hundreds since May 2003.
US interests in the oil-rich desert kingdom have been a particular target in 10 years of deadly militant attacks against foreigners.