06/24/2017, 10.06
SAUDI ARABIA
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Mecca: Saudi police foil terrorist attack on the Great Mosque

The attacker detonated a device, collapsing the building where he was in hiding. No victim, but 11 people were injured. On the same day two other terrorist cells were stopped. Millions of Muslims at Mecca for the end of Ramadan. Some observers have doubts.

Riyadh (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Saudi security forces have foiled an attempted attack on the Great Mosque of Mecca, the most important city for Muslims. The Interior Ministry reported the news, adding that two other terrorist cells were planning to target faithful and police.

Yesterday, the suicide bomber was surrounded in an apartment in central Mecca, Ajyad al-Masafi. After a shootout, he detonated a devise, bringing the three-story building V and wounding six foreigners who were practicing the umra (minor pilgrimage) and five policemen. Two of the wounded are still in hospital, while others have already been discharged.

On the same day, a man sought after because believed to be a militant Islamist was killed by security forces; he had been hiding in the city's al-Aseelha district. A third cell was stopped in the city of Jeddah. No information has been given about this, apart from the arrest of five militant suspects, including a woman.

It is not yet clear who is behind these attacks. However, Isis had already hit the Saudi kingdom in the past. In May last year, the Saudi security forces had fired and killed two alleged Islamic fighters outside Mecca, while two others had blown themselves up. In July of that same year, four security agents had been killed by a suicide attack near the Prophet Mosque in Medina.

Some observers have doubts about this attack and believe it may have been fabricated to increase the tension between Arabia and Qatar and Iran.

Millions of Muslims from around the world gather in Mecca at the end of Ramadan. Yesterday, a large number of faithful were gathered in the Great Mosque for the last Friday of Ramadan.

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