07/08/2016, 16.24
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19 people arrested for Medina and Jeddah bombings, 12 are Pakistanis

Suicide bombers include 26 year old Saudi Naer Muslim Hamad; authorities claim he was involved with drugs. Nationality of three others uncertain, already identified. To date there are no official claims of the attacks, but the Islamic State remains the prime suspect.


Riyadh (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Of the 19 people arrested for the recent bomb attacks in Medina and Jeddah, 12 of them are of Pakistani origin, according to the Saudi Interior Ministry.  The Ministry has also released the name of the bomber that struck in the second holy city of Islam, killing four people.  He is a 26 year old Saudi Arabian Muslim, Naer Hamad, who is noted to have had serious drug problems in the past.

Police identified the other three people who, for various reasons, have taken part in bomb attacks in the two cities as 23 year-old Abdulrahman Al-Omar, 20 year-old Ibrahim al-Omar and the 20 year-old Abdulkarim al-Husni. The three are not from Saudi Arabia, but their nationality is not clear.

On July 4 a bomb attack hit the Medina mosque, where according to tradition Muhammad is buried.  It is one of the holiest places of Islam, and the violence took place on the eve of the feast at the end of the Ramadan fast. The death toll is four security officials killed, five others wounded.

In the early hours of the same day a suicide bomber died after blowing himself up near the US consulate in Jeddah.

So far no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, even if the suspicions converge on the Islamic State (IS) or individual sympathizers - so-called lone wolves - active in the kingdom.

Moreover, already in the past Daesh [Arabic acronym for the Islamic State] he has carried out attacks in Saudi Arabia.

Analysts and observers have highlighted the fact that the guards killed in the blast were protecting a group of Shiite pilgrims, a minority in Saudi Arabia and who jihadi militias consider apostates and deserving of death.

The blasts occurred on the eve of Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the sacred month fasting and prayer, and sowed panic and consternation in the majority of moderate Muslims, given the target and timing of the attack. On the eve of Ramadan, an IS spokesman had promised "a month of calamity for the infidels", anticipating not only the attacks in Saudi Arabia but also the massacre in Baghdad (Iraq) and attacks in Dhaka (Bangladesh) and in Turkey just to name a few.

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