ANKARA, Turkey -- A bomb planted in the car of a Saudi Arabian diplomat exploded Monday, hurling the diplomat from his vehicle and leaving him hospitalized in a critical condition with the loss of both legs.
Police said Abdurrehman Shrewi, a financial officer at the Saudi Embassy was parking his green Mercedes-Benz near the Saudi military attache's bureau in the posh district of Cankaya about 9:50 a.m. when the blast occurred.
Police said it was unclear if the bomb was detonated by a timing device or by remote control. No one has yet claimed repsonsiblity.
Gulf-based diplomats said a pro-Iranian group may be responsible. On Sept. 25 two pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon threatened to attack U.S., Saudi and Kuwaiti interests in retaliation for the execution in Saudi Arabia of 16 Kuwaitis convicted of terrorism.
A building concierge who witnessed the explosion said he saw the diplomat, who had been stationed in Turkey since 1986, blown through the door of the car. He landed in the street close to the vehicle as it was engulfed in flames.
The Saudi Embassy said the diplomat was in a critical condition in an Ankara hospital and would be evacuated home as soon as possible.
The attack was the second in a year on a Saudi diplomat in Ankara, the Turkish capital.
On Oct. 26, 1988, Abdulghani Bedewi, the second secretary at the Saudi embassy, was shot and killed near his home when an unknown gunman fired at him with a pistol at close range.
The pro-Iranian Islamic Jihad group, based in Lebanon, claimed responsibility for Bedewi's murder.