October 22, 2016

Bomber blows himself up near US consulate in Jeddah

A suspected suicide bomber has died after blowing himself up near the US consulate in Saudi Arabia’s city of Jeddah, the interior ministry has said.

Security officers early on Monday became suspicious of a man near the parking lot of Dr Suleiman Faqeeh Hospital, which is directly across from the US diplomatic mission.

When they moved in to investigate, “he blew himself up with a suicide belt inside the hospital parking”, the ministry said, adding that two security officers were lightly wounded.

The attack happened at around 215am (23:15 GMT) on July 4, the day when Americans celebrate their independence.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

An investigation was ongoing, and some people were being questioned for their suspected links to the attack, security sources told Al Jazeera.

In a statement, the US consulate said there were no casualties or injuries among its staff, adding that it and the US embassy were in contact with Saudi authorities investigating the incident.

The US State Department also said it was aware of the explosion in Jeddah and it was working with Saudi authorities to collect more information.

In 2004, five people stormed the US consulate in Jeddah with bombs and guns, killing four Saudi security personnel outside and five local staff within.

Three of the attackers were killed in the assault and two were captured.

Five gunmen stormed the US consulate in Jeddah in 2004 in a gun and bomb attack [File: AP]

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