(CNN) A wave of suicide bombings hit three Saudi Arabian cities over a 24-hour period. The attacks came on the heels of massive jihadi assaults in the Muslim world last week that have been been tied to ISIS; analysts believe that this string of …
“The vibrations were very strong,”
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — State-linked Saudi news websites reported an explosion Monday near one of Islam’s holiest sites in the city of Medina, as two suicide bombers struck in different cities without killing anyone.
Sabq news site and other local media, quoting unnamed sources, said the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber near a security building outside the Prophet Muhammad’s mosque. Several cars caught fire. Local media showed images of what appeared to be a fire outside one of the buildings overlooking the Prophet’s Mosque. It was not immediately clear if anyone was killed or wounded in the blast.
The sprawling mosque where the Prophet Muhammad is buried is visited by millions of Muslims from around the world each year during pilgrimages to Mecca. The area would have been packed with pilgrims for prayer during the final days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in the kingdom on Tuesday.
The Interior Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.
Qari Ziyaad Patel, 36, from Johannesburg, South Africa, was at the mosque when he heard a blast just as the call to sunset prayers was ending. People were breaking their fast with dates so the mood was subdued, he said. Many at first thought it was the sound of traditional, celebratory cannon fire, but then he felt the ground shake.
“The vibrations were very strong,” he said. “It sounded like a building imploded.”