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Qatar Explosion Kills 1, Injures 12

Suicide Bomber Drives Vehicle Into Theater Near British School

Sunday, March 20, 2005; Page A21

DOHA, Qatar, March 19 -- An explosion at a small theater near a British school in Qatar killed one person and wounded 12 others Saturday, a Qatari official said.

An Interior Ministry official told al-Jazeera satellite television that nine of the 12 wounded, including one Briton, had been treated at a hospital. The British Foreign Office confirmed the fatality was a British national.

Security officials and rescue workers inspect the scene in Doha, Qatar, after an explosion tore through a theater. (AP)

A Qatari investigator said a suicide bomber rammed a vehicle into the theater.

"There are two dead, including the suicide bomber," a second Qatari official said.

Earlier, the Interior Ministry said the blast at the single story theater, where William Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" was being staged, had been caused by a rigged car.

Al Qaeda militants have staged attacks in neighboring Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but Qatar, a key U.S. ally, has seen no such violence.

Qatar hosts the U.S. military's Central Command and was a launchpad for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, which began two years ago on Sunday.

An al-Jazeera correspondent on the scene said about 100 people were inside the one-story Doha Players theater.

A security guard at the British school said about 40 teachers who live in the school compound were evacuated but that no one was hurt there.

"We have staff that are on their way there now to see if there are any casualties or what casualties there are," a British Foreign Office spokesman in London said. "But they haven't had any reports on the casualties at this stage."

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