Saudi Arabia foils terror attack on Mecca Grand Mosque

Security forces arrested five suspects, including a woman, who are now being investigated.

Mansour Turki, the spokesperson of the Saudi interior ministry, said the kingdom's forces have foiled terrorist attacks emanating from three locations, one from Jeddah city and the other two were in Mecca.

It said the police raided the two areas in Mecca, including one near the central area of the mosque.

A suspect blew himself up in a nearby neighborhood when his home was surrounded by security forces.

"He continued to shoot heavily before exploding himself, resulting in his death, the collapse of the building that he was in and the wounding of six expatriates who were taken to hospital, in addition to the injury of five security personnel with minor injuries".

"The security authorities are still conducting their investigations, lifting the remaining evidence at the site of the explosion and verifying the identity of the suicide bomber".

The incident happened with hundreds of thousands of worshippers gathered at the Grand Mosque for early afternoon prayers on the last Friday of this year's Ramadan.

Five accused, including a woman, were arrested by the security forces.

In May previous year, Saudi security forces shot dead two alleged Islamic State fighters outside Mecca, and two others blew themselves up outside Mecca.

Saudi Arabia has faced numerous terror attacks since late 2014, mostly claimed by the Islamic State group. As interior minister, Prince Mohammed led the country's counter-terrorism operations for years.

  • Leroy Wright