Suicide bombers struck three urban areas across Saudi Arabia on Monday, killing no less than four security officers in an apparently co-ordinated campaign of attacks as Saudis prepared to break their fast on the penultimate day of the holy month of Ramadan.
The blasts targeting on US diplomats, Shiite worshipers and a security headquarters at a mosque in the holy city of Medina follow days of mass killings claimed by Islamic State (IS) in Turkey, Bangladesh and Iraq.
A Saudi security official said an attacker parked a car near the US consulate in Jeddah before detonating the device.
The official said the Government was checking the reports of blasts in Qatif and Medina.
In the only one of the three attacks that appeared to have caused mass casualties, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb near the security headquarters of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, the second-holiest site in Islam.
“Security forces suspected a man who was heading towards Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Prophet’s Mosque) as he passed through a visitors parking lot,” an interior ministry statement said.
“As they tried to stop him, he blew himself up with an explosive belt causing his death, and the death of four security personnel.”
The interior ministry said five others were injured. Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television said the Medina blast involved three suicide bombers.
Videos of the aftermath of the Medina bombing showed a large blaze among parked cars in the fading evening light, with a sound of sirens in the background.
Images circulating on social media showed dark smoke billowing from flames near the Mosque of the Prophet, originally built in the 7th century by the Prophet Mohammed, who is buried there along with his first two successors.
In Qatif, an eastern city that is home to many members of the Shi’ite minority, at least one and possibly two explosions struck near a Shi’ite mosque.
Witnesses described body parts, apparently of a suicide bomber, in the aftermath.
The Jeddah blast was the first bombing in years to attempt to target foreigners in the kingdom. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Islamic State has carried out a series of bombing and shooting attacks in Saudi Arabia since mid-2014 that have killed scores of people, mostly members of the Shi’ite Muslim minority and security services.
PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team
KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.
PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.
Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.