Several international construction and engineering firms in Qatar have issued security advice to staff this week after two separate incidents in which company bus drivers were attacked and injured.
Both incidents took place on an under-construction QR3.26 billion orbital expressway and truck route that is being built between Al Khor to the north of Doha and Mesaieed to the south of the capital, which is set to open in 2017.
The Ashghal project is being managed by US-based construction firm KBR, which is a former subsidiary of Halliburton.
Neither Ashghal nor KBR have officially commented on the incidents, though witnesses and company employees have shared details of the attacks.
Additionally, the United States Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security (OSAC) has circulated private memos about the incidents to international companies in Qatar.
OSAC is a collaboration between the US government and private-sector businesses, which monitors and reports on security issues for US-based companies overseas.
According to OSAC, the most recent attack took place at 5:30am on Saturday, Sept. 5, when a minibus carrying expat workers on Al Kharara Road (the under-construction truck route and orbital highway) heading toward Mesaieed was stopped by a man in an SUV.
The man, whose identity has not been confirmed, reportedly fired shots from a gun at the minibus.
The driver of that vehicle, which carried employees of an KBR sub-contractor, was injured by flying fragments of broken glass.
He received medical attention, and his injuries were understood to have been minor. No one else was physically harmed in the incident, although the workers were checked over by medics.
OSAC added that the gunman was taken into police custody and criminal investigations are ongoing. His motivations for the attack remain unclear.
The shooting incident came just three days after a bus carrying employees of an unnamed US company was stopped on the same route, while going in the opposite direction toward Salwa Road.
Just after 5am on Wednesday, Sept. 2, the bus was forced to stop by a speeding SUV. According to the OSAC advisory, the unidentified driver of that car forced the bus driver out of his vehicle and started to beat him.
The police were called and the individuals involved were reportedly detained.
Following the reports, employees at major firms said they have been advised not to stop their vehicles if signaled to do so by unmarked cars.
The incidents come at a time of heightened security in Qatar, with shopping malls, hotels and the religious complex all employing additional protocols that include the use of metal detectors and new checks on vehicles for bombs.
These were put in place in early July, ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, and are ongoing.
Speaking to Doha News, the US Embassy in Qatar said it has not issued any specific advice to citizens following the reported incidents and that there are no travel warnings or travel alerts currently in effect for Americans in Qatar.
In a statement, a US embassy spokesman said it is required by law to share with American citizens in Qatar any “information that affects the safety or security of American citizens in Qatar,” and such updates are published on its website.
Americans in Qatar can also register with its Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which issues the latest security updates by email or text message, the spokesman added.
General security advice to US citizens on the website of the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs states:
“Incidents of violence are rare in Qatar, although attacks against Western targets have occurred…U.S. citizens in Qatar should maintain a high level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take appropriate steps to bolster their personal security at all times.”
This story is fishy why would someone stop cars in the middle of nowhere and shoot at them then wait for the police to arrested him!!
Well, the mental state of a person who has it in him to shoot at a bus follow of people probably isn’t the best.
Where does it say he waited to be arrested. Someone may have had the sence to get his car reg number. Or checked CCTV if any on the stretch of road.
Lot of Ashghal construction sites use cameras for time-lapse videos.
It genuinely happened – I saw it being discussed on a Facebook group post on the day it happened.
Yes I saw that too and it was crazy on other social media. I was wondering why the deafening silence on official channels when half of Doha are talking about a weekend shooting.
This incident sounds like Kuwait 🙂 http://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/category/kuwait/crime/
What is the problem of these people??? Don’t let El Niño get in to your nerve, hypertension can kill you. Ugh….
Both stories are weird but let’s hope we get an update from the MOI. It might be a drill from security services to test the readiness and efficiency of the police
not a drill. just racist road rage.
So you’ve done your own investigation and came to the conclusions already? Man you should be hired by the MOI you seem to be super efficient
MOI and OSAC confirmed the incident and the criminal investigation.
A drill doesn’t injure or attempt to injure civilians.
It is possible that this was not intended as the article says that the shots were aimed at the bus not the people but the driver was injured by fragments of glass. For the other driver, we do not know how violent the fight was but your point is valid and now I have some doubts about it being a drill, though I think it is still a possibility.
Are you serious?
You really think the MOI would shoot a gun at a bus & beat up another driver for a drill?
Or do you think that they would use their own bus & drivers for such a drill?
you dont use bullets in a drill LOOOOOOOOL
you use fake weapons or rubber bullets. Also, no drill around the world would require someone to SHOOT A BUS! even if it was just to point and aim, drills are to be controlled, the driver couldve panicked and flipped the bus over even if there were no shots fire
We do not have all the details here. And even though it might sound unlikely that it was a drill, the fact that both stories are very weird and in the absence of an official explanation the doors are open to all types of interpretations, including the unlikely crazy idea of a drill.
Either someone acting alone who is mentally disturbed or more worrying a coordinated ploy to destabilize Qatar. Qatar has made plenty of enemies recently, Yemen, Iran, Libya and Syria to name a few. These types of attacks are nearly impossible to stop as the tourists in Tunisia found out.
Worrying times ahead
@@MIMH:disqus 100% agreed with you and western expatriate reside here should take extra precaution where to visit which includes shopping malls.
It’s really disturbing.
Why western expatriates? Everyone should take extra precaution. I highly doubt the poor beaten up bus driver was a western expatriate.
Your right, Shias should take extra precaution as well. They are normally first on the list, then the westerners.
With the exception of places of worship (which obviously is chosen to target a specific group), I have yet to hear about a terrorist (no matter what cause they follow) going into a place like a mall, hotel or airplane and asking for nationalities or religious beliefs before shooting people or blowing up a place. They kill indiscriminately.
To use one recent example the beach killings in Tunisia were specifically to target westerners.
The attack in Mumbai by Islamic terrorists they did actually ask who was holding U.S or European passports.
9/11 designed to kill Americans
7/7 designed to kill Brits.
Paris shootings, one gunman went to a Jewish shop to specifically kill Jews.
Bali bombing of a nightclub, designed to kill westerners.
Doha bombing on Doha players, designed to kill westerners mainly Brits.
Need I go on?
You are missing my point. No matter what their agenda is or who they are targeting they kill anyone who is there (maybe with the exception of the Jewish shop in Paris).
9/11 had many fatalities from a variety of nationalities.
In Mumbai most of the casualties and deaths were actually locals.
Doha players did have a majority of westerners but was open to all. I have been there many times.Even a Qatari lady was injured during the bomb.
So by your logic then, one can safely frequent troubled areas if you are not the target? Bombs will miraculously explode around you leaving you unhurt?
When it comes to your family, would you care who is actually targeted rather then who is actually there and gets injured or killed? It doesn’t matter who someone is targeting if there are rumors of an attack I wouldn’t want my loved ones anywhere near the places.
I believe you forgot Madrid.
No, but I couldn’t name them all.
Another example of the point I was making is that during the start of the Rwanda genocide in the 90s the Hutus were specifically killing the ethnic Tutsis and this was well-known that they were the only targets.
Yet as soon as that started happening, expats, foreign diplomats, UN staff and humanitarian staff were immediately evacuated. Despite not being the target, they clearly thought it would be dangerous for them.
Don’t forget the caste killings in India.
What about the Kenyan Mall attack in 2013. The militants told muslims to leave, and asked people to name the mother of the prophet to distinguish muslims from non-muslims. They then murdered all the non-muslims they could find.
Yes, I was going to mention this but you did so better. So ummmm…. What’s her name? ….. Just in case…..
Bob, her name was Bob
Deleting for irrelevance/irreverence.
Not just the mall attack, that was a common modus operandi for some of the Islamist terror attacks in Kenya – the ones with the buses of laborers where they identified the Muslims and set them free.
I didn’t know that and there may be other cases that I have not heard them do this but you only knew this after the attack. You don’t know if they will attack everyone or a specific group.
If you heard that muslims were shooting hindus at malls in India and you were in the country with your family, would you take your family to the malls regardless? My point is that everyone should take precautions because you never know what methods are used or what mindset the attacker has. Some have the mindset of “either you are with me or against me”.
There were three good things about Qatar: easy, tax-free money, lots of interesting destinations within a few hour flight and safety&security (driving excluded). With low oil and gas prices easy money drying up, near-by countries in turmoil and now security concerns (and driving as risky as ever), perhaps it is time to go home.
I think a number of people will have that on their mind and that will please some locals.
1. In case you haven’t noticed many are leaving. 2. The locals may only be happy as long as things keep working.
That being said this case sounds more like an armed lunatic with road rage rather than a targeted terrorist attack. Although two factors are still pretty disturbing: somebody was armed in a country that supposedly does not allow carry 2. The time of the day of the incident.
Qataris are allowed to own guns, expats are not.
really??? so where the shops that has guns around Doha are ??? its allowed according to you. you facts please …
I’m surprised you don’t know the rules in your own country, there used to be two gun shops for Qataris that had licences but as I am not into guns I don’t know if they still exist. However even getting a licence as a Qatari is not easy and you can’t just buy any gun you want.
Deleting for stereotyping ‘locals.’
Suffering from mental retardation due to playing video games , I presume.
Deleting for offensive use of the word “retards”
i did not specifically use that word. i did not mention any nationality , race or religion, i just merely stated the state of the mental being? i was just against the notion that video games is not the underlying cause for violence. What gives???
Your comment wasn’t deleted, “guest’s” was.
you were saying?
dude , she has lot of SHHHH to go throw daily, let it go.
let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care
what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway
video games is love, video games is life
I am not surprise the man in an SUV without a brand name is from the moon without a nationality, but the guys in minibus are Nepali workers. I am used to reading unfair stories and articles where some nationality are mentioned and some are not.
Shabina, i know you understand this aspect of your article is not fair based on the comments you liked on this web page e.g (Michael L comment you liked yesterday). Also, i believe you can do something about it if you really want to. It doesn’t matter if you get or copy the article from wherever, you can do justice to it before you upload on your web page if you really want to be fair.
LET US TRY TO BE FAIR IN WHATEVER WE DO
We weren’t trying to be unfair, we were just providing the information to you that we had found after days of investigation. If the nationality of the shooter is determined, we will share that without hesitation.
Shabina, Thanks for your reply. Let me agree you did not have the nationality of the shooter.
In my opinion, I think it is absolutely possible to write this story without the mention of workers nationality to balance the story.
However, if you think it is necessary…which i think is not to state nationality of the victims and the shooter, you could do that after investigating the nationality of the shooter to update in both way. This i think makes lot of sense and put in peoples mind you are not bais. Otherwise, keep the story plain and out of nationality mention.
Fair enough. Will remove the nationality of the driver for now.
BE careful out there people , the fact is Qatar had made few enemies lately, its wise to always aware of your surrounding. god protect us (expat/locals) all
Sound like you’ve been watching Hill Street Blues.
Just connecting the dots. Couple of days ago large number of bullets were confiscated at HIA. Now we have shooting incidents. Indeed worrying times, ahead.