Saudis foil attack on Mecca’s Grand Mosque

The man then blew himself up inside the house he was hiding on Friday.

Security forces pre-empted two planned terrorist attacks in Mecca’s Assila district and Ajyad al-Masafi neighborhood, said Saudi Arabian Interior Minister, Mansour al-Turki. He later blew himself up after security forces closed in on him.

A second attack was foiled when five suspects, including one woman, were arrested during separate security operations that day, according to Saudi-owned news website Al-Arabiya.

In Riyadh, the Council of Senior Scholars said it appreciated the achievement of the security forces in thwarting the terror plot.

He added that four had already been released from hospital, and five security men were also slightly hurt.

Millions of Muslims from around the world visit the mosque, the burial site of the Prophet Muhammad, every year as part of their pilgrimage to Mecca.

Tehran: Iran on Saturday offered Saudi Arabia its assistance in tackling terrorism despite their severed ties. It urged religious leaders to oppose such an ideology.

At least 13 people were killed in an explosion at a mosque in the Asir region of southwestern Saudi Arabia in August 2015 and five more in an attack on a Shia mosque in Saihat, on the country’s east coast. Six foreign civilians were also wounded. In a statement issued on Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that terrorism is growing and becoming rampant.

Eleven people were injured when a suspect blew himself up after exchanging gunfire with security forces during a tense standoff near Islam’s holiest site, it is claimed.

The disrupted attack comes at a sensitive time in Saudi Arabia.

Turki said police “foiled the terrorist plan that targeted the security of the Grand Mosque, pilgrims and worshippers”.

Bahrain, in a statement, expressed its honest appreciation of the great role of the Kingdom under the leadership of King Salman in ensuring the comfort and tranquility for pilgrims.

Notwithstanding the political strain on its relationship with Saudi Arabia, Qatar said it would side with Saudi Arabia in all measures the kingdom would take to protect sacred places.

It reiterated its firm position in rejecting terrorism and stressed the need for closer worldwide cooperation to eliminate the scourge that threatens all nations and peoples without discrimination.

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah condemned the Friday bombing.

Authorities have yet to verify the identity of the attacker or the group that plotted the attack.

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