Bombers attack across Saudi Arabia including at mosque in Medina
Attackers kill four at Medina mosque housing Muhammad’s tomb and also strike outside the US consulate in Jeddah and in Shia-majority Qatif
Suicide bombers appear to have targeted a security post outside the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, one of the two holiest sites in Islam, in an escalation not seen for decades.
The attack killed four security officers outside the sprawling grounds of the mosque where the prophet Muhammad is buried. The Interior Ministry said five other people were wounded.
The bombings were the latest in a run of attacks in the kingdom on Monday . They took place a day before the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In the early hours of the day, Saudi officers foiled an attempted bombing near the US consulate in Jeddah, while a suicide bomber struck a mosque in the Shia-majority province of Qatif shortly before sunset.
Images circulated online showed smoke near the mosque, while a video showed two police officers lying near a car park with flames billowing nearby.
Every year millions of Muslim pilgrims from around the world visit the mosque, which was founded by Muhammad in the 7th century and contains his tomb as well as those of the first two caliphs, Abu Bakr and Omar. The adjacent grounds of al-Baqi’ contain the remains of many of the prophet’s companions, who were buried in Medina. The mosque complex is second only to the Grand Mosque in Mecca in its reverence by Sunnis and Shias.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the bombings in Qatif and Jeddah were consistent with the modus operandi of Islamic State in its targeting of Shia Muslims and US representatives, as well as Saudi interests.
The group’s leaders had urged its followers to carry out attacks during Ramadan. During the last ten days of the holy month, Muslims flock to Mecca and Medina for the minor pilgrimage (umrah).
Over the past week, Isis has claimed responsibility for significant attacks in Baghdad, Istanbul and Dhaka, apparently looking beyond its strongholds in northern Iraq and Syria following repeated defeats on the battlefield. The group has urged attacks against the Saudi government on many occasions.
But the attack near one of the holiest sites in Islam is a major escalation in its campaign.
In 1979, insurgents bent on overthrowing the ruling al-Saud family besieged the Grand Mosque, claiming that their leader was the messiah and killing dozens in a stand-off that was quelled in commando raids after two weeks.
Surayi yayamba ndi kufotokoza kuti zakumwamba ndi za m'dziko lapansi zikulemekeza Mulungu ndi kumyeretsa ku Makhalidwe osayenerana ndi ulemerero Wake. Ndipo yapitiriza kunena kuti nkosayenera kwa okhulupirira kuyankhula zimene sakuchita ndi kuti Chauta amakonda kuti iwo azikhala dzanja limodzi kwa adani awo. Kenako yafotokoza za kupandukira choonadi kwa ana a ...