Saudi Arabia arrests 46 over 2016 Medina mosque attack

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Saudi Arabia has arrested 46 people suspected of belonging to a cellresponsible for an attack in Medina outside of one of Islam’s holiest siteslast year.

“Investigations revealed they were directly involved in the crime of targeting worshippers in the Prophet’s sacred mosque,” Interior Ministryspokesman Major-General Mansour al-Turki told reporters on Sunday.

Turki said the group was also behind a suicide bombing near the USconsulate in Jeddah in 2016. Both attacks took place in July during thefinal days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The bombing outside Prophet Muhammad’s mosque in the western Saudicity of Medina killed four security officers, while two policemen werewounded in the attack in Jeddah.

Turki said 32 of those arrested were Saudis, while the 14 others were from Egypt, Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Sudan and Jordan.

The ministry previously identified the Medina bomber as a Saudi national and the Jeddah bomber as a Pakistani.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attacks, nor did the InteriorMinistry blame a specific group.

In recent months, Saudi authorities have stepped up a nationwideclampdown on suspected attackers.

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), based in Iraq and Syria, hascarried out a series of bombings and shootings in Saudi Arabia since mid-2014 killing scores of people, mostly members of the Shia-Muslimminority and security services.

 

 

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