RIYADH: At least four security personnel were killed and five injured when 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 Ramadan.
The explosions targeting US diplomats, worshippers and a security headquarters at a mosque in the holy city of Medina follow days of mass killings claimed by Daesh (Islamic State), 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 many casualties, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb near the security headquarters of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, the second-holiest site in Islam.
Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television said an initial death toll from the Medina blast included three suicide bombers and two security forces officers.
In Shia dominated Qatif residents said, at least one and possibly two explosions struck near a mosque frequented by the community.
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.
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.
Prime Minister, Army Chief condemn blast
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the suicide blasts. “The Pakistan government and people are shocked at the terrorist attack. The world community and Muslim Ummah needs to stand solid against terrorists,” he said.
Army Chief General Raheel Shareef in a phone call to Saudi Defense minister Prince Muhammad bin Sultan said that Pakistan stood strong with Saudi Arabia in this stressful time.