By Daniel Hunter

Furniture giant Ikea have said that they regret removing images of women from their catalogue that appeared in Saudi Arabia.

The Swedish firm clearly had women present in the images for other markets, yet for their Saudi catalogue the women had been photoshopped out.

The firm said "excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the Ikea Group values".

It attributed the gaffe to the fact its Saudi operation is run by a franchisee.

Several images in the catalogue, published on Ikea's Saudi website, show women completely absent in a number of promotional scenes.

The same images in other versions of the catalogue include women.

Ikea said it was reviewing its "routines" in response to the issue.

"We support the fundamental human rights of all people and we do not accept any kind of discrimination," the company said in a statement to the BBC.

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