DUBAI (Reuters) - At least two people were killed when a car exploded in Saudi Arabia’s eastern city of Qatif on Thursday, Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television reported.
It said initial reports indicated the victims were “fugitives”, a term that suggested people being sought by the kingdom’s security services.
The channel had earlier said the blast was caused by a car bomb. Its website posted images of thick black smoke rising from a street.
A resident contacted by telephone by Reuters said he had heard a blast and saw smoke rising above an area that police had blocked off. Saudi authorities were not immediately available for comment.
Photos sent over social media showed a body apparently completely burned being pulled from the wreckage of a car. The authenticity of the photos could not immediately be verified.
Qatif, home to a large Shi‘ite Muslim population, has been a flashpoint between the Sunni Muslim government and Shi‘ites complaining of discrimination.
Reporting by Sami Aboudi and Sylvia Westall; Editing by Catherine Evans