Saudi foils major terror attack on Grand Mosque in Mecca

General view of the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca Saudi Arabia
General view of the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Mecca Saudi Arabia
Author

24 June, 2017

Quoting security operatives, Al Arabiya, Saudi-owned news website, said the operation was planned by three extremist groups, two based in Mecca and the third in Jedah.

On the other hand Al-Arabiya reported that Saudi security forces shot dead a wanted man in Makkah on Friday and arrested several others.

Top judicial authorities and government spokesmen in each of Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan condemned the attempted lone wolf attack targeting one of Islam's holiest sites in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, said the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

On Saturday, the Interior Ministry confirmed that Saudi security forces foiled an imminent suicide attack set on the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

It said 11 people were injured after the three story-building collapsed after the explosion, five of them police officers. Five others were arrested, including a woman, it said.

Saudi authorities have arrested around 40 people, including Saudis and Pakistanis, for alleged extremist links since July previous year, when a suicide bombing near the Prophet's Mosque in Medina killed four members of its security forces.

In a bid to fulfil his terror attack, the trapped would-be suicide bomber exchanged fire with the security forces.

Regional rivals sent Saudi Arabia their support after police foiled a suicide bomber near Islam's holiest site during Ramadan - an event that drew more than 1 million people this year.

Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called for attacks against the kingdom, a member of the United States-led coalition battling the group in Syria and Iraq.

A Shia mosque in al-Ahsa was targeted in January 2016 in an attack that claimed at least four lives.

In 1979, some 250 militants seized the mosque and held it for two weeks as they demanded the royal family abdicate the throne.


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