4 killed, 18 hurt in Saudi mosque bombing

4 killed, 18 hurt in Saudi mosque bombing

RIYADH - Agence France-Presse
Four people were killed and 18 wounded on Jan. 29 when a suicide bomber attacked a mosque in Shiite-populated eastern Saudi Arabia, state media said.

The Al-Ekhbariya news channel quoted an interior ministry spokesman as giving the new toll, up from two dead and seven wounded earlier.

Residents said the mosque belonged to the minority Shiite community.

In a written statement, the ministry said security personnel prevented two bombers from getting inside the Al-Rida mosque in the Mahasen neighborhood of Al-Ahsa city during the weekly Friday prayers.

“When security approached to intercept them, one of them responded by blowing himself up at the mosque entrance while an exchange of fire took place with another,” it said.

“He was injured and arrested. A suicide belt was found in his possession.” 

Since deadly attacks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) last year against Shiite mosques in the kingdom’s east, security has been increased, including with the presence of community guards who inspect visitors to houses of worship.

In June 2015, four Shiites died preventing a suicide bomber from entering the hall of Al-Anoud mosque in Dammam city.

Days earlier, 21 people were killed in another Shiite mosque bombing in Eastern Province.

Groups claiming affiliation with ISIL said they carried out these blasts.