Dhahran (däränˈ, däˌhəränˈ) [key], city (1993 pop. 73,691), NE Saudi Arabia, near the Persian Gulf. Since the discovery (1938) of oil nearby, it has grown rapidly into a modern city. In Dhahran are the headquarters of the Arabian American Oil Co. (ARAMCO), the office of the Saudi petroleum ministry, and the Univ. of Petroleum and Minerals. During the Persian Gulf War the city's air base, the largest in Saudi Arabia, was used by coalition forces, and the area was subjected to Iraqi missile attacks. In 1996 a truck bomb at the Saudi base, which also housed foreign military personnel, killed 19 Americans and wounded more than 400 people.
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