Belgian, Lebanese Arrested in Saudi Car Bomb Probe

Published December 21st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

A Belgian and a Lebanese are among several men arrested as part of inquiries into three car bombings that have killed one Briton and wounded five people in Saudi Arabia, a daily said Thursday. 

The report of the arrests came a week after officials said an American, identified as Michael Sedlak, was among several suspects detained in Riyadh. 

The Arabic newspaper al-Hayat said the group was believed to be involved in dealing with banned products, suggesting the sale of alcohol, and "may be linked to three explosions in Riyadh and Khobar." 

The Belgian embassy confirmed the arrest of a Belgian citizen but refused to reveal his identity. 

"The embassy is in contact with the Saudi authorities about this, but we cannot interfere in the investigation," a spokesman told AFP. He cast doubt on the man's involvement in the bombings. 

Al-Hayat said he had been detained 10 days ago, but, the embassy spokesman noted, had not been charged. 

Coca-Cola employee David Brown from Scotland was badly hurt last Friday in the eastern city of Khobar when a small box left on his car windscreen exploded as he tried to remove it. 

It was the third blast to target Britons working in oil-rich Saudi Arabia over the past month, raising the casualty toll to one dead and five injured. The British community in the kingdom numbers around 30,000. 

The British and US governments have since urged their citizens in the kingdom to take precautions. 

Saudi authorities have pointed to possible criminal rather than political motives for the attacks, which come at a time of anti-western sentiment linked to the Middle East conflict -- RIYADH (AFP) 

 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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