Briton critical after car blast

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The Independent Online

A British man was in critical condition in hospital today after the car he was travelling in exploded in the Saudi Arabia capital Riyadh, the Foreign Office said.

A British man was in critical condition in hospital today after the car he was travelling in exploded in the Saudi Arabia capital Riyadh, the Foreign Office said.

His wife, who was also in the car, was taken to hospital with superficial injuries after the blast at 11am (British time), a spokeswoman said.

She was released after treatment.

The Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "Two Britons, a man and a wife who were resident in Saudi Arabia, were injured in an explosion in a car in the centre of Riyadh.

"The man is in a life-threatening condition in hospital.

"The woman only had superficial injuries and has been discharged from hospital and she is staying with friends.

"We do not know whether it was a bomb or not but it is clear there was some kind of explosion."

The explosion comes in an atmosphere of widespread Muslim and Arab anger towards the West for its perceived support of Israel in the on-going Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Nineteen US Air Force personnel were killed, and more than 500 Americans and Saudis injured, when a truck bomb exploded outside the Khobar Towers housing complex near Dharan on June 25 1996.

In November 1995, five Americans were killed by a car bomb at the US military headquarters in Riyadh.

The Foreign Office spokeswoman said there was no history of terrorist attacks against Britons in the country.

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