Medina explosion: Suicide bombing near Saudi holy site
Three suicide bombers struck in Saudi Arabia on Monday in a rare incidence of multiple attacks in the kingdom. There were no immediate claims of responsibility, bust suspicions are focused on Islam State group. Hezbollah condemned "the terrorist suicidal blasts”. An attack happened in Medina at such a place is likely to leave Muslims around the world aghast.
Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Three suicide bombers struck in Saudi Arabia on Monday in a rare incidence of multiple attacks in the kingdom where the Islamic State group has previously staged deadly attacks.
The latest explosion occurred at one of Islam's three holiest sites, the Prophet's Mosque in Medina in the kingdom's west where Mohammed is buried. A suicide bomber has killed four security officers and injured five others.
The bomber detonated his explosives after being stopped outside the Prophet's Mosque, a statement said.
The mosque is the burial place of the Prophet Muhammad and Medina the second-holiest city in Islam after Mecca.
Hezbollah condemned in a statement on Monday "the terrorist suicidal blasts" that targeted the vicinity of Prophet's mosque in Medina, and another mosque in Qatif, Saudi Arabia. "The explosions that targeted the holiest places at the holiest times, only prove terrorists' disrespect of Muslim sanctuaries, and their split from religion," the party said.
Terrorist acts highlight the necessity of “clear political and popular solidarity to eradicate this malign tumor," it added. "This is the acid test for the world against terrorism and terrorists who are used for political reasons," the statement concluded.
Suicide blasts also struck two other Saudi cities on Monday.
Analysts say that an attack happened in Medina at such a place is likely to leave Muslims around the world aghast. Suspicion is likely to fall on so-called Islamic State (IS).
Qari Ziyaad Patel, 36, from South Africa, who was in the mosque, told the Associated Press news agency people had at first thought it was the sound of the cannon fire that marks the breaking of fast. The ground shook, he said, adding: "The vibrations were very strong. It sounded like a building imploded.”
Earlier, at least one explosion rocked Qatif, an eastern city which is home to many minority Shia Muslims. The blast appeared to target a Shia mosque. The attacker was killed but no other casualties were reported.
A suspected suicide bomber also died after detonating a device near the US consulate in the city of Jeddah. Two security officers were slightly injured as they tackled the man, but no-one else was hurt.