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Motive for Saudi blast remains a mystery

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- A Saudi Arabian minister has cautioned against speculation over the motives behind an explosion that killed a Briton in the capital Riyadh.

Interior Minister Prince Nayef said he did not think the blast was linked to an energy conference which opened in Riyadh on Friday or to a visit to the kingdom by U.S. Defence Secretary William Cohen.

"The motives behind the incident could be either personal or political. It is not possible to rule anything out," the al-Riyadh daily quoted Nayef as saying

Riyadh's police chief said Friday's blast took place inside a car driven by a company employee and his wife.

The UK Foreign Office in London identified the man as Christopher Rodway, and his wife Jane, both in their 40s. They had been in Saudi Arabia for eight years.

Rodway is believed to have worked as a technician at a Saudi military hospital in Riyadh.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, which occurred after Friday prayers.

The explosion came five weeks after a man threw a bomb at the British embassy in neighbouring Yemen.

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

Reuters contributed to this report.



RELATED STORIES:
One Briton killed, another hurt in Saudi explosion
November 17, 2000
Remains of 1 Cole bomber found, U.S. officials say
November 17, 2000

RELATED SITES:
UK Foreign Office
Saudi Arabia - Ministry of Information

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