Wedding gunfire cuts cable, 23 electrocuted

Last updated 22:55 31/10/2012

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Middle East

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Celebratory gunfire at a wedding party in eastern Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night (Wednesday NZT) brought down an electric cable, killing 23 people, a local civil defence official says.

"At the wedding, the cable fell on a metal door and the 23 people who died were all electrocuted," Eastern Province official Abdullah Khashman said by phone.

A photograph of the aftermath of the accident, published on local newspapers' websites showed a large courtyard strewn with fallen chairs and a pole in the middle supporting cables carrying lightbulbs.

All those killed were from the same tribe, Khashman said. Thirty others were injured in the incident near Abqaiq, a centre of the Saudi energy industry.

Saudi Arabia banned the shooting of firearms at weddings, a popular tradition in tribal areas of the conservative Islamic kingdom, last month.

Eastern Province governor Prince Mohammed bin Fahd ordered an investigation into the incident, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

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- Reuters

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