Suicide bombings target Medina and Qatif mosques in Saudi Arabai
July 5, Riyadh: Four security officials have been killed and five others injured when in a suicide attack near one of Islam's holiest sites in the Saudi city of Medina, according to the interior ministry.
A statement by the ministry said that the bomber detonated his explosives after being stopped outside the Prophet's Mosque on Monday. Suicide blasts also struck two other Saudi cities.
The mosque is the burial place of the Prophet Muhammad and Medina the second-holiest city in Islam after Mecca.
That an attack happened in Medina at such a place is likely to leave Muslims around the world aghast. Suspicion is likely to fall on so-called Islamic State (IS), reports said.
Photos posted on social media show smoke billowing from a fire outside the mosque where Prophet Muhammad is buried.
Qari Ziyaad Patel, 36, from South Africa, was at the mosque when he heard a blast just as the call to prayers was ending.
He said many at first thought it was the sound of traditional, celebratory cannon fire, but then he felt the ground shake.
Saudi Arabia's state-run news channel, Al-Ekhbariya, aired live video of thousands of worshippers praying inside the mosque hours after the explosion.
The Oslo Times International News Network