Suicide blast outside Prophet's Mosque in Madinah

Saudi Arabia says expat who came to kingdom 12 years ago carried out bombing in Jeddah

  • Saudi attack
    Security personnel gather at the site of a suicide attack near the security headquarters in Madinah.Image Credit: AFP
  • Saudi attack
    Saudi Emir of Madinah Prince Faisal Bin SalmanBin Abdul Aziz (left) visits an injured policeman.Image Credit: AFP
  • Saudi attack
    A picture shared on social media shows a view of the suicide attack scene near Prophet's Mosque. Image Credit: Twitter

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday said that a Pakistani man who came to the kingdom 12 years ago to work as a driver carried out the suicide bombing in Jeddah.

An Interior Ministry statement issued on Tuesday identified the man as 34-year-old Abdullah Qalzar Khan. It said he lived in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah with "his wife and her parents." The statement didn't elaborate.

On Monday, another suicide bombing killed four Saudi security troops and wounded five others in a parking lot outside the sprawling mosque grounds where the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) is buried in Medina.

Video – Latest update on Madinah bombing: 

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack there, as well as others near the US Consulate in Jeddah and a suicide car bombing near a Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan premier condemns attacks

Pakistan Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, on Tuesday condemned the terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia that killed at least four security men and has urged for international anti-terror response.

"The government and people of Pakistan are deeply shocked and saddened over the terrorist attacks in holy land and share the pain and grief of their Saudi brethren," Sharif said.

The suicide bomber who caused a blast near Prophet Mohammad's mosque in the Saudi city of Madinah on Monday night killed four police officials and injured four others, Xinhua news agency reported.

The bomber targeted the parking lots of the emergency forces vehicles in the west side of Madinah near the grand mosque while policemen were having their fast-breaking meal.

The Pakistani Prime Minister stressed that the international community in general and the Muslims in particular need to forge unity at this critical moment to foil the nefarious designs of enemies of humanity and the Islamic nations.

"We need to renew collective efforts to fight the menace of terrorism," the Prime Minister said and reiterated Pakistan's condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. He said Pakistan stands firm against every act of terrorism.

Pakistani Army Chief Raheel Sharif, spoke to the Saudi Defence Minister Muhammad bin Salman and condemned the terrorist attack.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder with our Saudi brethren in fighting the menace of terrorism," the army chief said in his message. 

Madinah bombing

A video sent to Reuters by a witness to the aftermath of the Madinah bombing showed a large blaze among parked cars in the fading evening light, with a sound of sirens in the background.

A picture sent to Reuters showed a burnt and bleeding man lying on a stretcher in a hospital.

Other pictures circulating on social media showed dark smoke billowing from flames near the Mosque.  

Al Arabiya news channel showed images of fire raging in a parking lot with at least one body nearby.

The bombers detonated the device as the security officers were ending their day-long fast for Ramadan, Arabiya reported.

UAE condemns attacks in Saudi Arabia

The UAE has strongly condemned terrorist attacks that happened in Jeddah, Qatif and the Prophet's mosque in Madinah.

Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, expressed his strong condemnation of these heinous terrorist attacks.
“We stand by Saudi Arabia in all the measures it takes in countering terrorism,” he said.

Shaikh Abdullah reaffirmed the UAE’s support and full solidarity with Saudi Arabia’s leadership and people in all measures it takes to eradicate the menace of terrorism which aims to destabilise security and safety in Saudi Arabia.

State-linked Saudi news websites earlier said an explosion has gone off outside one of Islam's holiest sites in the city of Madinah, the same day that two suicide bombers struck different cities in Saudi Arabia.

Sabq news site reported that the explosion took place Monday evening. Other sites showed images of what appeared to be a fire outside one of the buildings overlooking the Prophet's Mosque.

The sprawling mosque where the Prophet Muhammad is buried is visited by millions of Muslims from around the world each year during pilgrimages to Makkah. The area would have been teeming with pilgrims for prayer during the final days of Ramadan, which ends this week.

Iran on Tuesday also condemned the bombings.

"There are no more red lines left for terrorists to cross. Sunnis, Shiites will both remain victims unless we stand united as one," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter.

"Terrorism knows no border or nationality and there is no solution except creating an international and regional unity against this phenomenon," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi told state broadcaster IRIB.

Blasts in Qatif, Jeddah 

Two other bombers blew themselves up earlier Monday on opposite sides of the kingdom, which has previously been targeted by Daesh terror group.

In Qatif, on the Gulf coast, residents said a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mosque frequented by the Shiite community.

Another suicide bomber earlier detonated his explosives earlier near the US consulate in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, injuring two security officers.

Social media footage showed a blazing vehicle and billowing smoke.

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