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Car Blast Kills One in Saudi Arabia

A car blew up Sunday in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, killing one man, the Interior Ministry said.

The ministry statement said the auto was owned by a German resident but the identity of the victim was not immediately known. Police said they believed a bomb was planted in the car.

Western diplomats in Riyadh, speaking on condition of anonimity, said they believed the victim was a German national. They did not elaborate.

The explosion happened at 4:26 p.m. and an investigation was continuing, police said, adding it wasn't clear if the car was parked or moving. The German Embassy said it had no immediate information about the explosion.

There have been several car bombings targeting foreigners in the kingdom and Saudi authorities have blamed disputes between gangs dealing in alcohol, which is forbidden in the kingdom under Islamic laws, but not difficult to obtain.

Most recently, a bomb exploded in June after a British banker started his Land Rover in Riyadh, killing him.

Two bombings in Riyadh in late 2000 killed a Briton and injured four other people. A Scottish man was injured in an explosion in Khobar in December 2000. In March 2001, a Briton and an Egyptian were injured in a bombing outside a Riyadh bookstore. In May 2001, an American was seriously injured in Khobar when a package he was opening exploded.

Concerns about anti-Western sentiments have surfaced in the kingdom since the Sept. 11 attacks and the ensuing war on terrorism, which many Saudis see as an assault on Islam. There have been no reports of violence linked to anti-Western extremists in the kingdom.

Canadian William Sampson and Briton Alexander Mitchell are on death row in Saudi Arabia, awaiting word on their appeal, after being convicted in the 2000 bombings. Four other Britons -- James Lee, James Cottle, Les Walker and Peter Brandon -- and Belgian Raf Schyvens are serving prison sentences in connection with bombings.