DUBAI: Two Saudi suspects killed when their car exploded in Awamiya town of the kingdom were wanted for murdering police officers, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.
DNA testing identified Fadil al-Hamada and Mohammed al-Suwaimil, both Saudis, as the men who died on June 1 in Qatif city.
A rights group alleged that authorities “extra judicially executed” Hamada and Suwaimil, and also used “indiscriminate and excessive force” this week against civilians in the Qatif district town of Awamiya.
The ministry said Hamad, and others, were involved in the killings of 10 security forces members over the past two years in the Dammam and Qatif areas.
Suwaimil was involved in two of the killings, a ministry statement said.
Officers took “necessary action” after spotting their stolen vehicle, the ministry said at the time, without detailing how it was stopped.
“As a result, it caught fire and exploded,” killing the two occupants, the ministry said.
The vehicle was found to contain weapons as well as material which exploded, the ministry said on Tuesday.
But the Berlin-based European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR) issued a statement accusing authorities of killing the men.
“It is the first time that the Saudi authorities have resorted to explosives to extra judicially execute people in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia,” it said, but did not add how it believed the blast occurred.
A witness told AFP there was a “very huge” explosion.