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Explosion Rocks Medina Near Prophets Mosque

 

Faizel Patel, 2016-07-04

 

Four Saudi security force members have been killed and 5 other people seriously injured in a suicide bombing near Masjid-un-Nabawi (the prophets mosque) in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, the Saudi Interior Ministry says security forces on Monday suspected a man who was heading towards Masjid-un-Nabawi as he passed through a visitors parking lot. 

“As they tried to stop him, he blew himself up with an explosive belt causing his death and the death of four security personnel.” 

Videos circulated on social media showed a car burning and smoke billowing and at least two security officers lying on the ground and two others near the burning car. 

The victims were all members of the Saudi special emergency forces run by the interior ministry. 

Earlier it was reported that the cause of the blast may have been  a gas cylinder that had exploded.

According to Al Arabiya, the suicide bombing took place in a parking lot between the courtyard and the mosque at the time of Ifthar when Muslims break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

The news channel reports the suicide bomber targeted seven security officers when he pretended that he wanted to break his fast with them.

The suicide bomber also apparently died in the attack.

South African citizen, 36-year-old Qari Ziyaad Patel told AFP he was in Masjid-un-Nabawi when he heard a blast just as athaan for Maghrib was ending.

Qari Patel says 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. It sounded like a building imploded.”

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Masjid-un-Nabawi is the burial place of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Medina the second-holiest city in Islam after Makkah.

Two million visitors have so far arrived at Al-Haram Al-Nabawi in Medina for the last ten days of Ramadan.

Twitter: @Faizie143 

 

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