‘Suicide Attack’ On Grand Mosque In Mecca Foiled, 6 Injured: Saudi Cops
The suicide killed in Mecca
Police arrested five suspects, including one woman, after raids
Saudi Arabia has faced periodic bombings and shootings since 2014
Six foreign pilgrims were injured in Saudi Arabia on Friday when a suicide bomber for the healthiest Mecca of Islam site exploded, the Interior Ministry said.
The incident occurred around the Great Mosque, where hundreds of thousands of worshipers gathered for early afternoon prayer, the last Friday of Ramadan this year, the month of Muslim fasting.
Ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki told Saudi television that the police “frustrated the terrorist plan was the security of the Great Mosque, pilgrims and worshipers.”
In the sunrise raids to Mecca and the Red Sea city, Jeddah agents detained five suspects, including one woman, before surrounding the bomber’s location around the Great Mosque.
“Unfortunately, he started firing on security personnel when he realized his presence in the region, which resulted in an exchange of shots before he exploded,” Turki said.
The explosion partially collapsed the building where he took refuge, wounding six pilgrims told them Turki.
He added that four had been discharged, and five security men were also slightly injured.
Since late 2014, Saudi Arabia has faced periodic bombings and shootings claimed by ISIS.
Presumed images of the scene that were circulating on social networks showed a brick-filled footbridge and other seemingly explosive debris.
The video showed what appeared to be the head of a bearded man who was among the debris of a collapsed structure.
Near the end of Ramadan last year in the Saudi city of Medina, four security officers were killed in an explosion near the second holiest site in Islam, the Prophet’s mosque.
It was one of three suicide bombings in the entire kingdom, the same day seven people died. The other occurred in Jeddah and in the Gulf city of Qatif.
The United States Central Intelligence Agency said the attacks carried the characteristics of ISIS.
Most of the targets in Saudi Arabia were Shi’ite minority and security forces, killing dozens of people.
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called the attacks on the kingdom, a member of the US-led coalition fighting the group in Syria and Iraq.
Since July last year, police have arrested 40 people, including Saudis and Pakistanis for alleged extremist links.
Anti-terrorism capabilities of Saudi Arabia – which for years were led by Prince Mohammed bin Nayef – are well regarded internationally.
Wednesday, Prince Mohammed was expelled from his post and the crown prince of the Interior Minister, replaced as heir to the throne by the son of King Mohammed bin Salman Salman.
The anti-terrorist operation on Friday was the first to take place under the new Interior Minister, Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz bin Saud, who began 30 years ago.