Suicide bomber targets Prophet's mosque in Saudi Arabia

Suicide bomber targets Prophet's mosque in Saudi Arabia
Video: One of Islam's holiest sites was targeted by a suicide bomber on Monday, just moments after militants detonated explosives outside a Shia mosque in kingdom's eastern region.
2 min read
04 July, 2016

Medina bombing

Four Saudi security forces were killed when a suicide blast struck the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, one of Islam's holiest sites on Monday, a Saudi-owned television channel reported.

The explosion rocked the south side of the Prophet's mosque as security personnel and worshipers prepared to break the Ramadan fast at dusk.

"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. As they tried to stop him, he blew himself up with an explosive belt causing his death, and the death of four security personnel," said a statement by the Saudi interior ministry, adding that five others were injured.

Local media reported that the bomber was 18-year-old Omar Abdulhadi al-Otaibi.

Despite the deadly blast, worshipers thronged to the mosque to preform the evening prayers, local media reported.

Images shared online depicted fires raging and smoke billowing above the holy site.

The attack follows a suicide bombing just moments earlier that struck a Shia mosque in the kingdom's eastern region.

Two suicide bomber detonated an explosive belt in a mosque car park in Saudi's eastern province, where the kingdom's majority Shia population are located.

The militants detonated their bombs outside the mosque after being refused entry, witnesses said.

No casualties were reported in the attack that has yet to be claimed by a group.

"Suicide bomber for sure. I can see the body" which was blasted to pieces, said a witness to the attack in the Shia-populated city of Qatif.

On the same day, a suicide bomber was killed and two security officer wounded in an attack near the United States consulate in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah early on Monday.

Two security officers were reportedly injured in the incident that took place in a parking lot close to the consulate building.

Social media users shared images purporting to show the attacker lying dead after having detonated his explosive vest, however The New Arab has not been able to verify the images.

The attack came in the early hours of US Independence Day.