Lebanon’s Hezbollah condemns Mecca bombing
The Latest on a foiled plot targeting the Grand Mosque in the holy Muslim city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia (all times local):
Lebanon’s Hezbollah has condemned a bombing near the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
Saudi security officials said Saturday that a suicide bomber blew himself up near the Grand Mosque as police disrupted a plot to target the holiest site in Islam just as the fasting month of Ramadan ends.
The suicide attacker was killed, while the blast wounded 11, including six foreigners, according to the Interior Ministry.
Hezbollah, which is considered a terrorist organization by the Saudi government and Western nations, said targeting the Grand Mosque shows that the ideology of extremists has no respect for holy places. It urged religious leaders to oppose such an ideology.
Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Iran has condemned a plot to target the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement Saturday quoting spokesman Bahram Ghasemi as saying “terrorism is rampant and growing now across the whole world.”
He called on all nations to “be cautious” and said that Iran is ready to help other countries in confronting militants.
Saudi state television has aired footage after the raid near the Grand Mosque in Mecca, showing police and rescue personnel running through the neighborhood’s narrow streets where security forces confronted a suicide bomber.
Police say they engaged the bomber in a shootout at a three-story house. The bomber blew himself up and led to the building’s collapse. The Interior Ministry says he was killed while the blast wounded six foreigners and five members of security forces.
Five other people were arrested.
The footage shows the blast demolished the building, its walls crushing a parked car. What appeared to be shrapnel and bullet holes peppered nearby structures.