Outrage spreads after bombing hits Saudi holy site

Outrage spread Tuesday (June 5th) after a deadly suicide bombing struck the Saudi Arabian city of Medina, one of three attacks in the kingdom within 24 hours, AFP reported.

Religious and political leaders across the Middle East and the Muslim world denounced the attacks, one of which occurred near the Prophet's Mosque that left four dead and came amid preparations for Eid al-Fitr.

There were no claims of responsibility for Monday's bombings in Medina, Jeddah and the eastern city of Qatif, but the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) had previously urged its supporters to carry out attacks during Ramadan.

The bombing in Medina came during sunset prayers at the mosque where Prophet Mohammed is buried, which attracts millions of pilgrims each year.

The Saudi interior ministry said officers became suspicious of a man heading for the mosque through a parking lot.

"As they tried to stop him, he blew himself up with an explosive belt causing his death and the death of four police," the ministry said in a statement, adding that five others were wounded.

At the same time as the Medina attack, another suicide bombing occurred near a mosque in Qatif.

The Saudi interior ministry said "the body parts of three people were found" at the site but had not yet been identified.

Earlier Monday, two police officers were wounded in a suicide bombing in Jeddah.

The targeting of Medina caused widespread outrage across the Muslim world.

The United Nations said it was an attack on all Muslims.

"The significance of this attack cannot simply be measured in terms of the four policemen who were reported to have been killed, and the physical damage. It is an attack on the religion itself," said UN rights office spokesman Rupert Colville.

Saudi Shura Council head Abdullah al-Sheikh said the crime "could not have been perpetrated by someone who had an atom of belief in his heart", while the kingdom's supreme council of clerics said the blasts "prove that those renegades... have violated everything that is sacred".

Egypt's Al-Azhar condemned the attacks and stressed "the sanctity of the houses of God, especially the Prophet's Mosque".

The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) condemned the attack, as did the governments of Jordan and Lebanon, while Iraq said the attacks amounted to "heinous crimes".

Do you like this article?

0 Comment(s)

Comment Policy * Denotes Required Field 1500 / 1500