Four security officials killed in suicide blast outside Masjid Nabawi

Published: July 4, 2016
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Worshippers gather after a suicide bomber detonated a device near the security headquarters of the Prophet's (pbuh) Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia, July 4, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Worshippers gather after a suicide bomber detonated a device near the security headquarters of the Prophet's (pbuh) Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia, July 4, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

RIYADH: Suicide bombers struck three cities across Saudi Arabia on Monday, in an apparently coordinated campaign of attacks as Saudis prepared to break their fast on the penultimate day of the holy month of Ramazan.

The explosions targeting US diplomats, Shia worshippers and a security headquarters at a mosque in the holy city of Medina follow days of mass killings claimed by the Islamic State group, in Turkey, Bangladesh and Iraq.

According to Al Arabiya, at least four Saudi security force members were killed in the suicide attack near Masjid Al Nabawi, regarded as one of Islam’s holiest sites.

The attacks all seem to have been timed to coincide with the approach of Eidul Fitr, the holiday that celebrates the end of the fast. A Saudi security official said an attacker parked a car near the US consulate in Jeddah before detonating the device.

Muslim worshippers gather after a suicide bomber detonated a device near the security headquarters of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)’s Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia, July 4, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

A video sent to Reuters by a witness to 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.

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 of the Prophet, originally built in the 7th century by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who is buried there along with his first two successors.

Suicide bomber killed, two police wounded in blast outside US consulate in Jeddah

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 Shia mosque.

Witnesses described body parts, apparently of a suicide bomber, in the aftermath. A resident of the city reached by telephone said there were believed to be no casualties there apart from the attacker, as worshippers had already gone home to break their fasts.

Civil defence forces were cleaning up the area and police were investigating, the resident said.

A video circulating on social media and purporting to show the aftermath of a Qatif blast showed an agitated crowd on a street, with a fire raging near a building, and a bloody body part lying on the ground. Reuters could not immediately verify the video.

Hours earlier a suicide bomber was killed and two people were wounded in a blast near the US consulate in the kingdom’s second city Jeddah.

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 Shia Muslim minority and security services. Police and groups of local volunteers increased security near mosques in Qatif after suicide bombings hit mosques in Shia areas last year, killing dozens.

Another suicide blast at a mosque used by security forces also killed 15 a year ago.

PM, Army chief condemn attacks

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has condemned the terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, saying the people and government of Pakistan are grieved on the incident on the sacred soil.

In a statement on Tuesday, the premier said Pakistanis stands with their Saudi brethren and shares the same sentiments for those who lost their lives in the attacks.

Nawaz reiterated that Pakistan had an unflinching resolve against terrorism and expressed unity with the Saudi government to eliminate the menace.

Meanwhile, Army chief General Raheel Sharif called Saudi Defence Minister Prince Muhammad Bin Saleman and condemned the attacks, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

Sympathising with the affected families, General Raheel said Pakistan stands shoulder to shoulder with their Saudi brothers in fighting the menace of terrorism, the statement added.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • whats in the name
    Jul 4, 2016 - 11:07PM

    It’s not live and let live… Rather…. Kill or die…. Kill and die…. But kill before dying…. Since 1400 years…Recommend

  • MJ
    Jul 4, 2016 - 11:27PM

    It is a sad day as the holiest of the sites are no longer immune from such attacks. However I would like to add that the chickens have come home to roost.Recommend

  • Hello 1944
    Jul 5, 2016 - 12:05AM

    The Prophet’s (PBUH) city of all the places. It broke my heart to read this.Recommend

  • Ch. K. A. Nye
    Jul 5, 2016 - 12:06AM

    And so it starts here too… When and where will it end?Recommend

  • Hello1944
    Jul 5, 2016 - 12:14AM

    The Prophet’s (PBUH) city of all the places. It broke my heart. Is this the beginning of qiyamat?Recommend

  • Hameed
    Jul 5, 2016 - 12:59AM

    Is Saudi govt trying to get more power over people by scaring them?Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2016 - 1:34AM

    Then, you are those [same ones who are] killing one another and evicting a party of your people from their homes, cooperating against them in sin and aggression. And if they come to you as captives, you ransom them, although their eviction was forbidden to you. So do you believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part? Then what is the recompense for those who do that among you except disgrace in worldly life; and on the Day of Resurrection they will be sent back to the severest of punishment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.
    (Baqarah: 85)

    …and a lot more…Recommend

  • Afzal
    Jul 5, 2016 - 1:34AM

    Do not do nothing bad to be beloved cities Mecca or Medina GOT IT !! Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Jul 5, 2016 - 2:32AM

    Saudi clan should know the result of interfering in other countries.Disheartened killers are returning homeRecommend

  • Naila
    Jul 5, 2016 - 3:02AM

    Can we drop a few atomic bomb on the city of Raqua where these ISIS cockroaches are breeding. Please Please PleaseRecommend

  • Sha mustafa
    Jul 5, 2016 - 3:38AM

    I am a muslim nothing imposible that attacked the masjid NABWI but i disheartened killers are returning home .It broke my heart
    (This is the biginning of qayamat)Recommend

  • wb
    Jul 5, 2016 - 5:13AM

    Terror has come full circle. From the place it started 1400 years ago to the same place today.Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2016 - 5:28AM

    involvement of shias / infidel forces cannot b ruled out Recommend

  • vinsin
    Jul 5, 2016 - 5:34AM

    @Afzal:
    Those are Arab Pagan cities. Recommend

  • Hakim Afghani
    Jul 5, 2016 - 5:37AM

    Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia announced: Suicide bomber was a #Pakistani national on his facebook page and twitter.Recommend

  • سے Shaam (Hanafi)
    Jul 5, 2016 - 6:26AM

    No words to describe it, how can they be followers of Islam, if they targeted Masjid-i-Nabvi (PBUH). I do not believe in conspiracy theories but back in September 2014, Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs and endorsed by the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia (Abdul Aziz Al ash-Sheikh) had decided to move the the “Green Dome”. Recommend

  • Jerry
    Jul 5, 2016 - 7:47AM

    @Hakim Afghani:
    It is an Afghan sounding name probably an Afghan refugee carrying Pakistani Passport. All such Pskistan Passports held by Afghan refugee must be cancelled. Enough is enough. First got involved in narcotics and now suicide bombings. Recommend

  • wiserneighbour
    Jul 5, 2016 - 7:55AM

    Flock returning to the master.What Pakistan is experiencing now,the same is followed here.Return to the mentor.Recommend

  • Adnan
    Jul 5, 2016 - 8:06AM

    Now not even the holy places are spared by the terrorists.Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Jul 5, 2016 - 9:17AM

    @Naila

    Can we drop a few atomic bomb on the city of Raqua where these ISIS cockroaches are breeding. Please Please Please..

    What a terrible thing to say. People around the world are saying similar things for pakistan and all the death and destruction pakistanis have brought from california to london tube to madrid train bombing.Recommend

  • Np
    Jul 5, 2016 - 10:34AM

    This attack was by a Pakistani. Pakistan claims it has no [email protected]: Recommend

  • nasir
    Jul 5, 2016 - 10:40AM

    Its begining of qayamatRecommend

  • Kickass
    Jul 5, 2016 - 11:48AM

    Now we should have no doubt about where this terrorism generates from! It generates from GEORGE W BUSH FROM TEXAS USA.Recommend

  • Pakistan
    Jul 5, 2016 - 11:52AM

    A dilemma for poor Nawaz Sharif to go to Saudia or go to Pakistan. May be he extends his stay due to “health” reasons.Recommend

  • Akbar
    Jul 5, 2016 - 4:46PM

    O my god I’m so horrified that extremism has struck the place where it emanates from: Saudi Barbaria. What goes around, comes around.Recommend

  • Jul 5, 2016 - 5:16PM

    My heart aches knowing that the lesson is being taught in the holy month of Ramzan. When the flames of Islamic fire finally reach the rooftops of Saudi Sky-scrappers, and when rivers of not oil but blood gush out of this desert of a region Saudia Arabia has been, will they finally realize that Jihadism and militancy is like a serpent. A serpent is not a pet animal, it’s a beast and no matter how much you feed it eventually it will bite the same hand that feeds it, and none shall be exempt from it’s venom. When will these barbarians finally align themselves with the rest of civilized world? The day isn’t far when their wells of oily will finally dry and they’ll be back to toying with their primitive medieval tools( you know what I’m talking about)Recommend

  • Kamran
    Jul 5, 2016 - 6:57PM

    It is indeed a tragic but not surprising to see attack on Masjid-e-Nabavi. The reason it is not surprising as tafqiri elements has done it again and again on masjids/shrines around the world and disrespected Masjid-e-Nabavi in the past.

    Same mindset demolished shrines of B.B Fatima, B.B Zainab, Imam Hussain, just to name few and they don’t have any respect for human values.

    What is surprising is that we have seen more reaction from so called ashaqay rasools on the hanging of a so called ashaq then the attack on Mahboob (P.B.U.H). Are we so deep in denial or we still trapped in thoughts that “Koi Kalma go yha nahee kar sakta?”

    Did anybody else noticed that some elements sympathetic to this mindset has tried to down play this event?

    If this event cannot jolt our collective conscious, then Allah know what will… Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Jul 6, 2016 - 2:39AM

    @Sher Ali:Infidels are themselves ruling the Arabian Peninsula. They also want to extend their rule to all Islamic states by helping IS in Iraq and Syria They succeeded in Bahrain but so far they have failed in Yemen a conservative Shia populated area.Recommend

  • Zaida Parvez
    Jul 6, 2016 - 6:11AM

    I thought no attack could happen in these two holy places. God himself took responsibility to protect these places.Recommend

  • Saad
    Jul 6, 2016 - 9:35AM

    Inna lillahi wa inna ilaehi raaji’oon.

    But then, what you sow, so shall you reap!Recommend

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