A fire sparked by celebratory gunfire has killed at least 25 people at a wedding in Saudi Arabia, media reported on Wednesday.
The bullets struck electric decorations that triggered a short-circuit, igniting a women-only marquee at the wedding on Tuesday night in Eastern Province, said Al-Yaoum newspaper, citing civil defence chief General Abdullah Khsheiman.
Al-Yaoum, which is based in the province, said at least 28 people died in the fire, although various other reports put the death toll at 25, all of them women and children.
Hundreds were inside the courtyard of a home in the village of Ain Badr when the fire erupted, the BBC said.
Gunfire during the wedding reception Tuesday hit a high voltage power line that fell on a metal door, sending sparks that set off a fire.
The BBC said most of the casualties were said to be women although men and children were also hurt. They were taken to Aramco and Central Abaiq hospitals.
Last month Saudi Arabia banned the use of firearms at weddings, The (Lebanon) Daily Star said.
The power line is also believed to have touched a metal door at the only exit from the courtyard, causing the electrocution of many of the victims.
Most of those killed and injured are reported to have been women.
The local newspaper al-Youm cited Civil Defence chief Gen Abdullah Khsheiman as saying a women-only marquee was set on fire.
Women are separated from men at weddings in Saudi Arabia in line with the kingdom’s strict rules on gender segregation.