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The BBC's Frank Gardner in Riyadh
"These are tense times in the Middle East"
 real 28k

Friday, 17 November, 2000, 19:16 GMT
Briton killed in Saudi blast
Junction
Saudi police sealed off the busy city centre intersection
An explosion in the Saudi capital Riyadh has killed a British man and injured his wife as the couple were driving in their car through the city.

"An explosion occured in a car suspected of carrying an explosive device, " said Riyadh police chief Abdullah Al-Shaharani, quoted on Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Reports say the man died of his injuries in hospital while his wife was released from hospital after being treated for minor wounds.

He was later identified as Christopher Rodway, and his wife as Jane Rodway. Both were residents in Saudi Arabia, where Mr Rodway worked in a Riyadh military hospital.

About 30,000 Britons work in Saudi Arabia, many of them in the defence industry.

Saudi residents

The explosion is reported to have occurred at about 1320 (0920 GMT) directly after Friday prayers.

Map of Saudi Arabia

Police cordoned off an area in the centre of the city, at the corner of major intersection of Aruba Street and Olaya Street, next to the New Kingdom Building ,and refused to allow reporters to approach the damaged four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Witnesses said that said Mr Rodway, who lost two limbs in the blast, had been alive when he was pulled from the wreckage.

Anti-US attacks

The UK Foreign Office said there was no history of terrorist attacks against Britons in Saudi Arabia.

In 1995 and 1996 there were two powerful explosions against US targets in Riyadh and eastern Saudi Arabia's main oil centre of Dahran, which together killed 24 American citizens.

The attacks were blamed on Muslim militants trying to drive western forces from the Arabian Peninsula.

In October, suicide bombers attacked an American warship, the USS Cole, in Aden in the Arabian state of Yemen, killing 17 American sailors.

Friday's explosion occurred shortly before Crown Prince Abdullah was due to open an international energy conference in Riyadh attended by US Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and officials from more than 40 oil producing and exporting countries.

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The West in danger
17 Nov 00 | Business
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