DUBAI, April 30, (Agencies): Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it had arrested 46 members of a militant cell responsible for a deadly suicide bombing attack on the Prophet’s Mosque in the holy city of Madinah last summer that was blamed on Islamic State. The suspects, which included foreign and Saudi citizens, were detained in the Western port city of Jeddah, state news agency SPA quoted the interior ministry as saying.
Three suicide bombers and two members of the security forces were killed in the unprecedented attack on the mosque and tomb of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that is one of the religion’s holiest sites.
There was no claim of responsibility for the attack nor did the interior ministry statement blame a specific group. Islamic State, based in Iraq and Syria, has carried out a series of bombings and shootings in Saudi Arabia since mid-2014 killing scores of people, mostly members of the Shi’ite Muslim minority and security services.
It has vowed to uproot Gulf (states) it accuses of being in the thrall of the West. Interior Ministry spokesman Maj Gen Mansour al-Turki says the group was also behind a suicide bombing near the US consulate in Jeddah. Al-Turki said Sunday that 32 of those arrested are Saudis, while the 14 others are from Egypt, Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Sudan and Jordan. He spoke to reporters Sunday in Riyadh. The ministry previously identified the Madinah bomber as a Saudi national and the Jeddah bomber as a Pakistani resident.