Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on Remembrance Day event

The Islamic State (IS) group has claimed responsibility for an attack on a non-Muslim cemetery in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah which wounded several people.

In a statement issued through its official channel on Telegram, the group said that its “soldiers” had managed to hide a homemade bomb in the cemetery which then exploded after several “consuls of crusading countries” gathered there.

The statement did not contain any evidence they committed the attack aside from the claim.

The explosion, which occurred during a World War I remembrance ceremony, was the second security incident to take place in Jeddah in the last couple of weeks, and the first attack with explosives in years to attempt to hit foreigners in the conservative kingdom.

IS said in a posting on its news agency Aamaq that it primarily targeted the French consul attending the ceremony because of his country’s publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.

One UK national suffered minor wounds, according to the British Government.

Greece’s Foreign Ministry said a Greek policeman serving in the country’s consulate in Jeddah was wounded.

A Saudi security officer was also lightly wounded, Saudi state media quoted a local official as saying.

Some 20 people of different nationalities were attending the ceremony.

Wednesday marked the 102nd anniversary of the armistice ending World War I, a day that was also commemorated in several European countries.

The bombing followed a stabbing attack last month that lightly wounded a guard at the French Consulate, also in Jeddah.

France has been the target of three attacks in recent weeks that authorities have attributed to Islamic extremists.

An Islamic State sympathiser also carried out a deadly attack in Austria earlier this month.

IS has not carried out any large scale attacks in Saudi Arabia since 2015, when an IS suicide bomber attacked a mosque inside a police compound.

Shooting at Saudi embassy in the Netherlands

The Saudi Arabian embassy in The Hague was sprayed with gunfire early on Thursday, leaving bullet holes across the facade and in several windows.

Dutch police are seen outside Saudi Arabia's embassy in The HagueDutch police are seen outside Saudi Arabia's embassy in The Hague
Dutch police stand outside Saudi Arabia’s embassy in The Hague.(AP: Mike Corder)

Spokesman Steven van Santen said police were alerted around 6am (local time) to shots being fired at the building on a stately avenue opposite a canal in the Dutch city.

Officers found several bullet casings outside the building and launched an investigation including an appeal for witnesses.

Police later said they had arrested a 40-year-old man from the nearby town of Zoetermeer on suspicion of involvement in the shooting.

Bullet holes are seen in the windows of Saudi Arabia's embassyBullet holes are seen in the windows of Saudi Arabia's embassy
Bullet impacts are seen in the windows of Saudi Arabia’s embassy.(AP: Mike Corder)

In a statement, the embassy condemned the “cowardly attack” and urged Saudi citizens in the Netherlands to be on high alert and to exercise caution.

The Dutch foreign ministry said in a statement that it was taking the shooting “extremely seriously” and was in close contact with Saudi authorities.


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