German diplomats survive attack in eastern Saudi Arabia | News | DW | 13.01.2014
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German diplomats survive attack in eastern Saudi Arabia

Two German diplomats have survived an attack in eastern Saudi Arabia, according to Saudi state news. The vehicle was reportedly burned in the assault, but both diplomats escaped "unharmed."

Gunmen launched an assault on a vehicle carrying two German diplomats on Monday, according to Saudia Arabia's SPA news agency. They reportedly came under fire near the town of al-Awamiya on Saudi Arabia's eastern shore, roughly 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of the island of Bahrain.

"The car was hit but its two occupants, German diplomats, escaped unharmed with the help of a Saudi citizen," according to the Saudi news agency.

Local authorities are investigating the incident. The foreign ministry in Berlin also confirmed the attack.

"In the incident the car came under fire and caught fire. There were no injuries," a spokeswoman for the ministry told the German dpa news agency late on Monday. The ministry did not comment on whether the diplomats were specifically targeted, but said the German embassy in the capital Riyadh was working with local authorities.

Al-Awamiya has seen unrest in the last two years as members of its Shiite community have increasingly protested against the Saudi royal family, which is Sunni. The region is also home to most of the country's Shiite minority.

kms/msh (Reuters, dpa)