Saudi Arabia

Bomber killed in blast near US consulate

Police officers at the site of the suicide bombing in Jeddah yesterday. The attacker parked his car near the US consulate and detonated his device after two guards approached him, killing him and injuring them.
Police officers at the site of the suicide bombing in Jeddah yesterday. The attacker parked his car near the US consulate and detonated his device after two guards approached him, killing him and injuring them.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

RIYADH • A suicide bomber was killed and two people were wounded in a blast near the United States consulate in Saudi Arabia's second- largest city of Jeddah yesterday, state TV said. It was the first bombing in years to attempt to target foreigners in the kingdom.

In Kuwait, the authorities said they arrested six people after foiling a plot by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and bolstered security at oil installations.

Two security guards were slightly wounded in the explosion early yesterday morning at a hospital carpark near the consulate, local media reported.

The attacker parked his car outside the hospital opposite the consulate and detonated his device after he was approached by the two guards, killing him and injuring both men, a security spokesman was quoted as saying.

 

Three further blasts rocked the site of the bombing hours later, a witness told Reuters, as police carried out what appeared to be controlled explosions nearby.

In a statement, the US consulate said there were no casualties or injuries among its staff, adding that it was in contact with the Saudi authorities investigating the case.

ISIS has carried out a series of bombing and shooting attacks in Saudi Arabia since mid-2014 that have killed scores of people, mostly members of the Shi'ite Muslim minority and security services.

Separately, the United Arab Emirates has advised its citizens to avoid wearing traditional Arab clothing in Western countries after US police "brutally" detained an Emirati businessman suspected of being a militant.

The 41-year-old, who was visiting the US for medical treatment, was wearing a white robe and Arab headdress last Wednesday when he was arrested at a hotel in Cleveland, Ohio, after an employee suspected he had pledged allegiance to ISIS, apparently in a phone call.

"They were brutal with me. They pressed forcefully on my back. I had several injuries and bled from the forceful nature of their arrest," Mr Ahmed al-Menhali was quoted in The National daily as saying. He said he collapsed and needed treatment in hospital after the arrest.

Police and town officials later apologised for the incident, calling it "very regrettable", the Washington Post reported.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2016, with the headline 'Bomber killed in blast near US consulate'. Print Edition | Subscribe