A bomb was detonated late yesterday (4 July) near the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina in western Saudi Arabia, Islam’s second holiest site. The mosque, which was founded in the seventh century, houses Muhammad’s tomb as well as those of the first two caliphs, Abu Bakr and Omar.
Images posted on the Al Jazeera website show a fire outside the mosque where the explosion took place; officials at the Saudi embassy in London were unavailable to comment on whether the mosque, which was filled with worshippers for Ramadan, was damaged.
The bombing, which claimed the lives of four men, was one of three apparently coordinated suicide attacks in the country yesterday; an attacker attempted to destroy a Shiite mosque in Qatif, eastern Saudi Arabia, but failed. Another bomber detonated a device near the US consulate in Jeddah.
No group has yet claimed responsibility, but Saudi Arabia has been the target of Islamic state attacks (Isil) in the past year.