Four Saudi security personnel were killed and five others wounded in a suicide bombing Monday outside one of Islam’s holiest sites, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, the interior ministry said.
The attack took place as Muslim worshippers were gathering at the mosque for the sunset prayers, which mark the time when they could break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan which ends on Tuesday.
“Security forces suspected a man who was heading towards Al-Masjid al-Nabawi (the Prophet’s Mosque) as he passed through a visitors parking lot,” the interior ministry said in a statement.
“As they tried to stop him, he blew himself up with an explosive belt causing his death, and the death of four security personnel,” said the statement, adding that five others were injured.
The victims were all members of the Saudi special emergency forces run by the interior ministry.
Al-Arabiya news channel showed images of fire raging in a parking lot with at least one body nearby.
Meanwhile, another suicide attack took place at sunset near a Shiite mosque in Qatif, in the kingdom’s east.
The same statement also confirmed that suicide bombing clarifying that “the body parts of three people were found” at that site bat have not yet been identified.
Investigations are ongoing into both attacks, said the statement.