An explosive end to Ramadan sees Saudi shaken by blasts from Medina to Jeddah

Published July 5th, 2016 - 02:13 GMT
Saudi security forces respond to the site of a suicide attack near the security headquarters of the Prophet's Mosque in Medina City on July 4, 2016. (AFP/Stringer)
Saudi security forces respond to the site of a suicide attack near the security headquarters of the Prophet's Mosque in Medina City on July 4, 2016. (AFP/Stringer)

Normalcy prevailed over Medina as the region’s Governor, Prince Faisal bin Salman, prayed amongst hundreds of thousands of worshipers at the Prophet’s Mosque hours after a suicide bomber attacked a police post outside the holy mosque.

The blast came after mosques were targeted in both Jeddah and Qatif. 

Four policemen were killed and five others were injured in Madinah when a suicide bomber struck in the vicinity of a police post outside the Prophet’s Mosque, according to the interior ministry.

The bombing took place in a parking lot between the city court and the mosque, visited by millions every year.

When security officials became suspicious of an individual who was heading to the Prophet’s Mosque they approached him resulting in him triggering his explosive belt killing four of the officers and injuring others.

Videos circulated on social media showed a car burning and at least two security officers lying on the ground and two others lay crumpled near a burning car. The bomber also died in the attack, which took place at the time of iftar. No worshipper was injured in the attack, said a press correspondent from the scene.

Earlier, in Qatif, two suicide bombers blew themselves up one after the other outside the Faraj Al-Omran Mosque. No casualties were reported. A witness said a car bomb was detonated near the mosque, which was followed by a suicide attack just before 7 p.m. Police have launched an investigation into the attack.

Before that at 2:15 a.m., a suicide bomber blew himself up near the US Consulate in Jeddah. Security officers confronted him as he moved suspiciously at a parking lot of the Dr. Soliman Fakeih Hospital. Two policemen were wounded lightly in the attack.

The bomber from the Jeddah attack was confirmed to be Abdullah Qalzar Khan, an expat from Pakistan, who lived in Jeddah with his wife and her parents and came to the country 12 years ago to work as a private driver.

Saudi authorities are continuing to investigate the three attacks. Daesh is suspected, though the organization has not formally claimed responsibility.

Editor's note: This article has been edited from the original.


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