Muslim pilgrims leave after performing the Friday prayer at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, on October 11, 2013 as hundreds of thousands of Muslims have poured into the holy city of Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage. The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and is mandatory once in a lifetime for all Muslims provided they are physically fit and financially capable. AFP PHOTO
Saudi security forces foiled an attack on the Grand Mosque, considered as world’s holiest site, in the city of Mecca on Friday, state television Al-Ekhbariya and Al Arabiya TV reported.
Al Arabiya said security forces had found two groups of terrorists in Mecca and a third group in the city of Jeddah.
The foiled attack targeted worshipers at the mosque, it said.
Although neither Al Arabiya nor Al-Ekhbariya gave any further details, Arab News quoting a security spokesman said that one of the sites was in the
the neighborhood of Asilah, and the second in Ajyad Al-Masafi, located within the perimeter of the central area of the Grand Mosque.
”One site was a three-storey house that contained the suicide bomber in charge of implementation. When the security men began to surround him, he fired at them, which required a response to him in order to neutralize his danger after refusing to respond to their calls to surrender.
“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.
Arab News said the security operation resulted in the arrest of five elements of the cell, including a woman, after raiding their positions.
“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 Ministry of the Interior confirmed that this terrorist network intended to violate the security of the Grand Mosque, the holiest place on Earth.
Sources also confirmed that before the incident, security men, on Friday morning, had arrested a wanted criminal at a house in Al-Asilah neighborhood in east Makkah. The wanted criminal led authorities to the location of the terrorist in Ajyad Al-Masafi neighborhood, behind Al-Safwa Hotel.
In Jeddah, a terrorist was arrested by general intelligence after Special Emergency Forces had prepared to pursue him and approach him. However, he left his home, according to special security forces, and was followed by general intelligence men and arrested at a gas station in south Jeddah. His home was searched, where firearms and live ammunition was found.
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