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One Briton killed, another hurt in Saudi explosion

 

Blast precedes international energy conference

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) -- A British man was killed and his wife was injured Friday when a bomb exploded in a suburb of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, British officials and U.S. sources told CNN.

The blast occurred just hours before Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah was due to open an international energy conference attended by officials from more than 40 countries.

U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and European Union Energy Commissioner Loyola de Palacio are among senior officials attending the two-day event.

The British Embassy said the couple, both British citizens, were hospitalized after the blast, which occurred around noon while the couple was driving in a central suburb of Riyadh known as Kingdom Center. The British Foreign Office in London confirmed the man died of his injuries after being transported to the hospital.

U.S. sources said a bomb was involved, but it was unclear if the bomb was tossed or planted in the car.

Witnesses told the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that the Britons' car was moving when the explosion occurred.

A police officer at the scene told SPA that the explosion had thrown one of the passengers from a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

Reuters contributed to this report.



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