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Jeremy Phipps, Director, Control Risks Group
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The BBC's Julia Wheeler
"One person was seriously injured"
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Thursday, 23 November, 2000, 23:13 GMT
UK helps probe Saudi bomb
map of saudi arabia
A UK forensic expert has examined a car that exploded in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Wednesday, injuring three Britons.

The expert says the explosion was definitely caused by a bomb.

It was the second such incident in five days in Riyadh, following an explosion that killed a British man and injured his wife there on Friday.

Some Saudi authorities have suggested that the motive behind the bombings was personal rather than political, but the UK Foreign Office is increasingly concerned that someone with a grudge against the West may be targeting Britons.

The Foreign Office has advised British nationals living in or travelling to Saudi Arabia to exercise "caution".

'Increased threat'

A Foreign Office spokesman told BBC News Online: "Saudi Arabia is one of the countries where there is an increased threat to British nationals."

Police blocked off roads around the first blast
And the British embassy in Riyadh said security was under review and would doubtless be tightened in the wake of the attack.

There are more than 25,000 Britons living in Saudi Arabia, many of them working in the defence industry.

Two of the victims of Wednesday's attack have been identified as working for an aircraft firm half-owned by the American aerospace giant Boeing. The Foreign Office could not say if the third victim, a woman, also worked for the Al-Salam Aircraft Company.

Heightened tension

Wednesday's explosion comes at a time of heightened tension in the region because of the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

It took place at 2255 (1955 GMT) on Wednesday, in an upmarket district of the capital.

One of the three was said to be in a stable condition with injuries to his right leg, while the other two suffered minor injuries, the police said.

A fourth person is said to have checked herself into hospital with injuries from the blast as well.

An investigation has been launched into a possible link between the two blasts.

After last Friday's attack, the UK Foreign Office said there was no history of terrorist attacks against Britons in Saudi Arabia.

Twenty-four American citizens were killed in two powerful explosions in 1995 and 1996 in Riyadh and eastern Saudi Arabia's main oil centre of Dahran.

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

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See also:

23 Nov 00 | Middle East
New Saudi car blast
13 Oct 00 | Middle East
The West in danger
17 Nov 00 | Middle East
Briton killed in Saudi blast
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