Muslim worshippers pray at the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Pic/AFP
A suicide bomber blew himself up near the Grand Mosque at Mecca as police disrupted a plot to target the holiest site in Islam just as the fasting month of Ramadan ends, Saudi security forces said on Saturday.
The Interior Ministry said it launched a raid around Jeddah, as well as two areas in Mecca itself. Police said they engaged in a shootout at a three-story house where the suicide bomber blew himself up. The attacker was killed while the blast wounded six people and five members of security forces, according to the Interior Ministry. Five others were arrested, including a woman, it said.
The blast demolished the building, its walls crushing a parked car as what appeared to be shrapnel and bullet holes peppered nearby structures.
The ministry did not name the group involved in the attack. Over 1 million worshippers prayed at the Prophet's Mosque in Medina to mark the end of Ramadan.
Iran offers Saudi Arabia help after Mecca bombing
Tehran: Iran on Saturday offered Saudi Arabia its assistance in tackling terrorism despite their severed ties. "Iran... as always expresses its readiness to assist and cooperate with other countries to confront these criminals, who deal death and ignorantly spread hate," foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi said.
Watch video: Leopard attacks stray dog for breakfast in Mumbai
Download the new mid-day android app to get updates on all the latest and trending stories on the go https://goo.gl/8Xlcvr