At least three dead in suicide attack at Saudi mosque

DUBAI: A suicide bomber blew himself up at a mosque in Najran in southern Saudi Arabia on Monday, killing at least three people and wounding several others, Saudi-owned al Arabiya television reported.


The attack on the al-Mashhad mosque occurred during evening prayers, and authorities are investigating the bombing, a Saudi news website reported, without giving further details.

This is not the first time that extremists have targeted mosques in Saudi Arabia. However, no one has claimed responsibility of the attack till the filing of this report.

The self-styled Islamic State (IS) has seemingly turned its guns on the Saudi state, after targeting the kingdom’s Shia minority.

In early August, a suicide bomber killed at least 15 people in an attack on a mosque used by members of a local security force in southwest Saudi Arabia, an assault that an online statement said was carried out by IS.

In May, IS suicide bombers attacked two Shia mosques in the Eastern Province in different incidents, while there have been a number of confrontations between the militants and security forces.

On July 16 a car bomb exploded at a security checkpoint near a prison in the capital Riyadh. It killed the driver and wounded two policemen.

Officials identified the driver as a 19-year-old Saudi man and said he had killed his uncle, a colonel, before blowing himself up on a road near Al-Hair prison, a high security facility.

IS claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was a message to their comrades held at Al-Hair that they had not been forgotten.

Two days later, Saudi Arabia said it had broken up an IS-linked network and arrested more than 430 suspects involved in attacks and plots, including suicide bombings of Shia mosques.

In another attack in the southwestern Saudi city of Taif on July 3, a policeman was gunned down during a raid in which three people were arrested and flags of the IS group found.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbours last year joined a US-led military coalition bombing IS in Syria, raising concerns about possible retaliation in the kingdom.

The kingdom also leads a coalition that has launched air strikes since March against rebels who have overrun much of neighbouring Yemen and forced the government into exile.

It may also be noted that Al-Qaeda had waged a campaign of shootings and bombings against foreigners and Saudi security personnel between 2003 and 2007.