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Britons in Saudi Arabia warned be on guard

Saudi blast
Police seal off the street where a British man was killed  

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- The UK has warned its nationals in Saudi Arabia to take extra security precautions after a British man was killed when a device exploded in his car.

"We have told them to keep a low profile, avoid crowded places and be careful when they park their cars," British Consul Ian Wilson said.

Christopher Rodway was killed and his wife, Jane, was slightly injured on Friday when the device planted under the seat of a four-wheel-drive vehicle driven by Rodway exploded.

The couple, both in their late 40s, had been in Saudi Arabia for eight years. Rodway had been the chief engineer in the VIP section of the Military Hospital in Riyadh, Wilson said.

Saudi security officials have said they believe personal motives, not terrorism, were behind the blast.

The consul said the embassy had already been on a "fairly high state" of caution and the British community was advised to take a number of security measures.

There are 26,000 British nationals working in the oil-rich Gulf Arab state in a wide variety of fields ranging from banking to construction and medicine.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast which came five weeks a bomb was thrown at the British embassy in neighbouring Yemen.

No one was hurt in that explosion, which followed an apparent suicide bombing which crippled the U.S. destroyer Cole, killing 17 American sailors as it refuelled in the southern Yemeni port of Aden in October.

Saudi security officials were quoted by the English-language Saudi Gazette as saying that clues gathered so far "point to purely personal motives as being behind the killing" of Rodway.

Diplomats said the blast was an unusual event despite attacks against U.S. targets in Saudi Arabia in 1995 and 1996, in which 24 Americans were killed.

Reuters contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
Motive for Saudi blast remains a mystery
November 18, 2000
One Briton killed, another hurt in Saudi explosion
November 17, 2000

RELATED SITES:
UK Foreign Office
Governments on the WWW: Saudi-Arabia
Saudi Press Agency

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