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Jeddah bomber a Pak national

worldpaper Updated: Jul 06, 2016, 08:15 IST
Agencies
Agencies

RIYADH/DUBAI: One of the bombers involved in three separate suicide attacks that left four people dead in Saudi Arabia was a Pakistani national, authorities said on Tuesday.

The Saudi interior ministry said a bombing near the US consulate in Jeddah was carried out by Pakistani national Abdullah GulzarKhan, 34, a private driver who had been living with his wife and her parents in the city for 12 years.

At least three suicide bombers struck across Saudi Arabia on Monday, including a shocking attack at Islam’s second holiest site, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, where four security guards were killed. Monday’s attacks on Islam’s spiritual home came as Muslims prepared for the feast marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramzan.

There were no claims of responsibility but the Islamic State had urged its supporters to carry out attacks during the holy month and has claimed or been blamed for a wave of Ramzan shootings and bombings, including in Orlando, Istanbul, Dhaka and Baghdad.

Media reports identified the bomber in Medina as 18-year-old Umer Abdul Hadi, who was wanted by the Saudi government on terror charges.

The suicide bombing in Medina came during sunset prayers at the Prophet’s Mosque – where Prophet Mohammed is buried and which attracts millions of pilgrims each year.

The Saudi interior ministry said security forces became suspicious of the bomber when he was heading for the Prophet’s 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 security personnel,” an official statement said, adding five others were injured.

The first attack on Monday took place in the western city of Jeddah, where two security officers were wounded when the suicide bomber blew himself up near the US consulate.

Interior ministry spokesman Gen Mansour al-Turki told state news channel Al-Ekhbaria the bomber was closer to a mosque than to the consulate.

The US embassy in Riyadh reported no casualties among consulate staff.

The attack coincided with the US July 4 Independence Day holiday. At the same time as the Medina attack on Monday evening, another suicide bombing occurred near a Shia mosque in the city of Qatif across the country, residents and the interior ministry said. The interior ministry said it was working to identify the remains of three bodies at the site of the blast, suggesting there may have been three attackers.

ht epaper

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