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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 May, 2004, 17:58 GMT 18:58 UK
German shot dead in Saudi capital
A German man has been shot dead in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, the Saudi interior ministry says.

The man worked as a caterer for Saudi Arabia's national airline, a ministry official said.

He was shot dead at about 1815 (1515 GMT) on Prince Abdullah Highway, a popular shopping street in eastern Riyadh, the Associated Press reported.

"A car pulled up. They shot him in the head and body and escaped," said one witness quoted by Reuters news agency.

Another witness said the German had just left the Arab National Bank in the Al-Hamra district.

The police sealed off the area after the shooting.

The Saudi government has launched an extended assault on militants thought to be behind a series of suicide bombings and attacks on Westerners.

Last year 50 people died in such attacks in Riyadh.

Earlier this month five foreigners were killed in an attack on a petrochemical site in the western city of Yanbu.

And two days ago four militants were killed in a shoot-out with Saudi security forces north of Riyadh. Weapons and bomb-making equipment were seized.

It was the latest gun battle between Saudi forces and militants, who have been linked to Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda organisation.

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