Suicide bombers hit 3 Saudi cities

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Saudi policemen stand guard at the site where a suicide bomber blew himself up in the early hours of July 4 near the American consulate in the Red Sea city

Saudi policemen stand guard at the site where a suicide bomber blew himself up in the early hours of July 4 near the American consulate in the Red Sea city

Suicide bombers struck three cities across Saudi Arabia on Monday, in an apparently coordinated campaign of attacks as Saudis prepared to break their fast on the penultimate day of the holy month of Ramadan.

The explosions targeting U.S. diplomats, Shi’ite worshippers and a security headquarters at a mosque in the holy city of Medina follow days of mass killings claimed by the Islamic State group, in Turkey, Bangladesh and Iraq.

The attacks all seem to have been timed to coincide with the approach of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that celebrates the end of the fast.

A Saudi security official said an attacker parked a car near the U.S. consulate in Jeddah before detonating the device.

The official said the government was checking the reports of blasts in Qatif and Medina.

In the only one of the three attacks that appeared to have caused many casualties, a suicide bomber detonated a bomb near the security headquarters of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, the second-holiest site in Islam.

Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television said an initial death toll from the Medina blast included three suicide bombers and two security forces officers.

A video sent to Reuters by a witness to the aftermath of the Medina bombing showed a large blaze among parked cars in the fading evening light, with a sound of sirens in the background.

A picture sent to Reuters showed a burnt and bleeding man lying on a stretcher in a hospital.

Other pictures circulating on social media showed dark smoke billowing from flames near the Mosque of the Prophet, originally built in the 7th century by the Prophet Muhammad, who is buried there along with his first two successors.

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Source:: PM Newspaper