MADINAH/JEDDAH/QATIF: Three cities, including the holy city of Madinah, were targeted in the Kingdom by suicide bombers on Monday.
Four policemen were killed and five others were injured in Madinah when a suicide bomber struck in the vicinity of a police post outside the Prophet’s Mosque, according to the interior ministry.
The bombing took place in a parking lot between the city court and the mosque, visited by millions every year.
Videos circulated on social media showed a car burning and at least two security officers lying on the ground and two others lay crumpled near a burning car. The bomber also died in the attack, which took place at the time of iftar.
A police source told that the officers manning the post were breaking their fast when the bomber struck. Security forces immediately cordoned off the Prophet’s Mosque and worshippers were not allowed to get in or out.
No worshipper was injured in the attack, said a press correspondent from the scene.
Undeterred by the incident, worshippers continued heading to the mosque for the Isha prayer.
Earlier, in Qatif, two suicide bombers blew themselves up one after the other outside the Faraj Al-Omran Mosque. No casualties were reported. A witness said a car bomb was detonated near the mosque, which was followed by a suicide attack just before 7 p.m. Police have launched an investigation into the attack.
Before that at 2:15 a.m., a suicide bomber blew himself up near the US Consulate in Jeddah. Security officers confronted him as he moved suspiciously at a parking lot of the Dr. Soliman Fakeih Hospital. Two policemen were wounded lightly in the attack.
Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki, Interior Ministry spokesman, said the bomber, in his 30s, was identified as an expatriate from the United Kingdom.
Photos taken from the scene showed the bomber’s body dismembered by the blast.
No claims of responsibility for any of the attacks have been made.
Daesh has carried out a series of bombing and shooting attacks in Saudi Arabia since 2014 that have killed scores of people, mostly Shiites and members of the security services. In January, a suicide bomber attacked a mosque in Al-Ahsa, killing four people before worshippers disarmed and tied up an accomplice who had shot at them.
In October last year, a gunman opened fire on worshippers in Qatif, killing five people before he was shot dead by police.