Four police officers killed in Madinah suicide bomb attack
The bomber detonated his suicide vest Monday evening when most residents of the neighborhood were at home ending the Ramadan fast.
The suicide bomber who caused a blast near Prophet Mohammed's mosque in the Saudi city of Madinah on Monday killed four police officers and injured four others, local news reported.
The bomber targeted the parking lots of the emergency forces vehicles in the west side of Madinah near the grand mosque while policemen were having their fast-breaking meal, Xinhua cited Al Arabiya news as saying.
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He told them that he want to join them for food before blowing himself up.
No official information was released from the Saudi Interior Ministry yet, but this blast was the fourth reported in different Saudi cities on Monday.
The day started with a suicide bomber blowing himself in Jeddah at a parking lots of a hospital, in which two security men were injured.
Twin blasts were reported in Qatif near a mosque and the worshipers escaped unhurt. The worst was in Madinah as there were thousands who were at the grand mosque during the blast and the police shot near mosque to avoid any stampede by scary worshipers.
State-linked Saudi news websites say an explosion has gone off outside one of Islam's holiest sites in the city of Madinah, the same day that two suicide bombers struck different cities in Saudi Arabia.
Sabq news site reported that the explosion took place Monday evening. Other sites showed images of what appeared to be a fire outside one of the buildings overlooking the Prophet's Mosque. It was not immediately clear if anyone was killed or wounded.
The sprawling mosque where the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is buried is visited by millions of Muslims from around the world each year during pilgrimages to Makkah. The area would have been teeming with pilgrims for prayer during the final days of the holy month of Ramadan, which ends this week.
The Interior Ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.
A resident in the eastern Saudi Arabian region of Qatif says a suicide bomber and a car bomb have struck a neighborhood there, but that no injuries were immediately reported.
Mohammed Al Nimr told The Associated Press the bomber detonated his suicide vest Monday evening when most residents of the neighborhood were at home breaking the Ramadan fast.
A suicide bomber carried out an attack early on Monday near a US diplomatic site in the western Saudi city of Jeddah, according to the Interior Ministry.
Read: Two injured in suicide bombing near US consulate in Saudi
The ministry said the attacker detonated his suicide vest when security guards approached him near the parking lot of a hospital. The attacker died and two security men were wounded with minor injuries, according to the ministry statement, which was published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency. Some cars in the parking lot were damaged.
Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour Al Turki was quoted in the statement as saying the attacker caught the attention of the security guards, who noticed he was acting suspiciously at an intersection located on the corner of the heavily fortified US Consulate in Jiddah, located by the Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital. Most of the consulate's staff had reportedly moved offices to a new location.
The US Embassy in Saudi Arabia confirmed there were no casualties or injuries among the consular staff. The embassy said it remains in contact with Saudi authorities as they investigate the attack.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for attack.
The Interior Ministry did not specify if it there are indications the bomber intended to target the US diplomatic compound, saying an investigation was underway to determine his identity.
More recently, Saudi Arabia has been a target of Daesh attacks that have killed dozens of people. The extremist group views the Western-allied Saudi monarchy and government as heretics. Saudi Arabia is part of the US-led coalition fighting Daesh in Iraq and Syria.
In June, the Interior Ministry reported 26 terror attacks had taken place in the kingdom in the last two years. Local affiliates of the Daesh group have targeted minority Shias and security officials.
Monday's attack comes just days before the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which observant Muslims fast daily from dawn to dusk.
The US Embassy regularly issues advisory messages for US citizens in Saudi Arabia. In a message issued Sunday and another one issued after the attack Monday, the embassy urged Americans to "remain aware of their surroundings, and take extra precautions when travelling throughout the country." It also advised citizens to "carefully consider the risks of traveling to Saudi Arabia."
Muslim worshippers gather after a suicide bomber detonated a device near the security headquarters of the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Arabia, July 4, 2016.