RIYADH • Suicide bombers suspected of links to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targeted one of Islam's most sacred shrines and two other sites in Saudi Arabia, as militants once again proved their ability to threaten even the most closely guarded places.
The attack near the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, Islam's second-holiest site, on Monday appeared to be part of a coordinated campaign of worldwide bombings coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The bomber failed to enter the courtyard and detonated his explosives outside, killing himself and four security staff, the official Saudi Press Agency reported, citing an Interior Ministry statement.
Hours earlier, a bomber detonated his explosives outside the closely guarded United States consulate in Jeddah when security guards who found him suspicious approached him. Two guards were wounded.
The third suicide bombing took place near a Shi'ite mosque in the majority Shi'ite city of Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia.
No civilian casualties have been reported so far in all three incidents.
No one claimed responsibility for the triple suicide bombings, but ISIS had in each of the past three years urged its supporters to carry out attacks during Ramadan.
The Sunni Muslim militant group has claimed responsibility, or been blamed, for a wave of shootings and bombings in the past month. At least 290 people have been killed in the attacks at the Ataturk airport in Istanbul, a cafe frequented by foreigners in Dhaka and a busy shopping area in Baghdad.
ISIS has frequently threatened the Saudi kingdom, whose status as the guardian of the holiest sites in Islam is challenged by a group that regards itself as the rightful leader of the Muslim world.
BLOOMBERG, WASHINGTON POST
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