Suicide bomber detonates device at mosque in Medina

Reports suggest the bomber detonated their device as security guards were breaking their Ramadan fast

Mosque, Medina, suicide bomb

Image: State-linked Saudi news websites reported an explosion has gone off outside the Prophet's Mosque, one of Islam's holiest sites in the city of Medina on Monday, July 4, 2016, the same day that two suicide bombers struck different cities in Saudi Arabia. Hadi Mizban / AP/Press Association Images

A suicide bomber has detonated their device near the security headquarters of the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, according to Saudi television.

The blast in the city, the second-holiest site in Islam, followed three explosions in Qatif and Jeddah on Monday on the penultimate day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Two security offers were killed, according to the Al Arabiya news channel which showed a fire burning in a car park near the mosque. It was unclear, in the immediate aftermath, as to how many people were injured.

A witness said a car bomb was detonated near a mosque in Qatif and was followed by a suicide bomb attack just before 7pm local time.

Qatif is heavily populated by Shia Muslims, who are a minority in the Sunni-ruled kingdom. A suicide bomber had earlier set off a device near the US consulate in Jeddah, wounding two security officers.

Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Mansour al Turki said the attacker was spotted by security guards, and set off his device when he was approached. No claims of responsibility for any of the attacks have been made.

Islamic State has carried out a series of bombing and shooting attacks in Saudi Arabia since 2014 that have killed scores of people, mostly Shias and members of the security services.

Most of the attacks have taken place in Eastern Province, which is home to the majority of Shias in the Gulf state.
In January, a suicide bomber attacked a mosque in al Ahsa, killing four people before worshipers disarmed and tied up an accomplice who had shot at them.

In October last year, a gunman opened fire on worshipers marking the Shia commemoration of Ashura in Qatif, killing five people before he was shot dead by police.