Saudi prince vows 'iron fist' against extremists after attacks



Saudi police close a street leading to a cemetery in Jeddah where a bomb struck a World War I commemoration attended by European diplomats on November 11th, leaving several people wounded. ISIS claimed the attack. [AFP]

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pledged Thursday (November 12th) to strike extremists with an "iron fist", after a bombing targeting a gathering of Western diplomats was claimed by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS).

The bomb blast struck a World War I commemoration at a non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah on Wednesday, just two weeks after a guard at the French consulate in the Red Sea city was wounded by a knife-wielding Saudi citizen.

The attacks come as Saudi Arabia prepares for the G20 leaders' summit later this month -- the first to be hosted by an Arab nation.

"We will continue to confront any extremist... behaviour and ideas," Prince Mohammed said in an address to the Shura Council, the top government advisory body.

"We will continue to strike with an iron fist against all those who want to harm our security and stability," he said, according to the transcript of his speech published by the Saudi Press Agency.

Prince Mohammed warned those seeking to carry out extremist acts of a "painful and severe punishment".

Wednesday's attack in Jeddah left at least two people wounded, including a Greek policeman and a Saudi official.

A British citizen also was believed to have been wounded.

Diplomats from France, Greece, Italy, Britain and the US attended the Armistice Day commemoration ceremony in Jeddah, their embassies said.

ISIS on Thursday claimed responsibility for the bombing via its propaganda arm Amaq. The group offered no evidence of its involvement.

In a separate incident on Thursday, Dutch police arrested a man after multiple shots were fired at the Saudi embassy in The Hague, causing damage but no injuries.

It was not clear whether the incident, which the Saudi government condemned as "cowardly", was linked to the attacks in the kingdom.

"Extremism is no longer tolerated in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia," Prince Mohammed said in his speech.

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