Four Saudi security force members were killed and five wounded on Monday after a suicide bombing took place in Madinah near the Prophet’s Mosque, Al-Haram Al-Nabawi, regarded as one of Islam’s holiest sites.
Security spokesman security spokesman of the Ministry of Interior Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki said, “With Maghreb prayer drawing near on Monday in Madinah, security men suspected a man who was walking towards the Prophet’s Mosque across an open area that is being used as a parking lot for visitors. When they tried to stop him, he blew himself up resulting in his death and the martyrdom of four security men. Meanwhile, five other security men were injured. May they recover quickly.”
Madinah Governor Prince Faisal Bin Salman visited security officers injured in the attack in the hospital.
Egypt’s grand mufti Shawki Ibrahim, the country’s most top religious figure, denounced Monday’s “terrorism events” in Saudi Arabia which saw a suicide bombing strike near the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, considered to be one of the holiest sites in Islam.
American Ambassador Joseph W. Westphal , while condemning the blasts, said: “As the holy month of Ramadan comes to a close, Muslims from the United States to Saudi Arabia and beyond should now be celebrating the advent of Eid Al Fitr. Instead many of us will be grieving, in particular the families of the Saudi security forces personnel and others who were hurt or killed in the senseless attacks in Jeddah, Qatif, and Madinah today. I condemn, and all decent people condemn, these attacks. All of us deserve the right to worship in peace, and those who would transform this holy time into an occasion for hatred and bloodshed deserve our strongest condemnation.”
Jordan government spokesman Mohammed Al-Momani said: “Jordan condemns the cowardly terrorist acts that targeted the vicinity of the Prophet’s Mosque and the terrorists blast at Al-Qatif. Jordan stands by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and in solidarity with it in countering the blind terrorism that is targeting its security and stability.”
Al Arabiya News Channel’s correspondent said the suicide bombing took place near a security building parking lot between the city courtyard and the mosque, visited by millions every year.
The channel showed images of fire raging in a parking lot with at least one body seen nearby. The suicide bomber also died in the attack.
The attack near the Prophet’s Mosque took place during Maghreb prayers, the time when Muslims break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
The correspondent said the suicide bomber targeted security officers. Security forces have cordoned off the area.
Two million visitors have so far arrived at Al-Haram Al-Nabawi during Ramadan to finish recitation of the Qur’an. The visitors were undeterred and were heading to perform the Isha prayers, which take place soon after the initial fast-breaking prayer. Movement of people in the Prophet’s Mosque’s courtyard was not affected.