Isis claims responsibility for Saudi cemetery attack

Explosion at cemetery during remembrance ceremony left three people injured

Kate Ng
Thursday 12 November 2020 19:49
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Map locates attack in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia
Map locates attack in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia

Isis has claimed responsibility for an attack on a cemetery in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, where ceremony in remembrance of the end of World War I was being held.

The terror group said in a post on its news agency, Aamaq, that it primarily targeted French diplomats in attendance of the ceremony at the Non-Muslims Cemetery in the coastal city of Jiddah.

Other Europeans and Americans had also attended the ceremony. An explosive device planted at the cemetery set off, injuring three people who were left with light or minor wounds.

According to the claim by Isis, which was also carried on one of the militant Telegram channels used by the group, its fighters were able to plant the device at the ceremony but offered no proof.

Aamaq said other European countries at the ceremony were also considered targets because they are part of the international coalition fighting militants from the so-called Islamic State.

According to the state-run Saudi Press Agency, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday pledged to “strike with an iron fist against anyone who would like to undermine our security and stability” in response to the attack.

It comes after France found itself the target of three attacks in recent weeks that authorities have attributed to Muslim extremists.

One of the attacks included the beheading of a French teacher outside Paris who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his class. The caricatures are deemed deeply offensive to many Muslims and have sparked protests in Asia and the Middle East.

Another attack saw three people being killed in a church in the southern city of Nice.

The explosion in the city of Jiddah on Wednesday left one UK national, a Greek policeman and a Saudi security officer wounded. It followed a stabbing attack in October that lightly wounded a guard at the French Consulate in Jiddah.

Isis has never had a major presence in Saudi Arabia, and its last major attack carried out in the kingdom was in 2015.

But the Saudi Embassy in the Hague was hit by gunfire on Thursday. There were no reports of injuries, according to the Dutch police, but bullet holes could be seen across the facade of the building and in several windows.

it is unclear if the attacks are related.

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