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World Condemns Suicide Bombings that Killed 4 Outside Holy Site in Medina


Supporters of a Pakistani religious group chant slogans condemning a suicide bombing in Medina, Saudi Arabia, during a demonstration in Lahore, Pakistan, July 5, 2016.

The suicide bombings in several Saudi cities that killed four people and wounded five others in Medina have drawn strong condemnation from governments and organizations around the world.

The United States condemned the multiple bombings that targeted Saudi Arabia one day earlier and expressed condolences to the families of all those killed and injured in attacks in Jeddah, Qatif and Medina, the Department of State said in a statement Tuesday.

"These attacks underscore the scope of the threat we all face, and remind us of the need to continue to stay focused on combating violent extremism and bringing those responsible for it to justice.

“The U.S. stands with the people of Saudi Arabia as they confront the scourge of terrorism," the statement said.

The European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini also issued a statement condemning the bombings that hit Saudi Arabia on Monday, expressing condolences to the relatives of the victims and wishing the wounded a speedy recovery.

"The EU will keep working with all its partners to fight terrorism in all its forms," Mogherini said.

FILE - People stand by an explosion site in Medina, Saudi Arabia, July 4, 2016. (Courtesy of Noor Punasiya via AP)
FILE - People stand by an explosion site in Medina, Saudi Arabia, July 4, 2016. (Courtesy of Noor Punasiya via AP)

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Russia decisively condemned such criminal provocation by radicals and confirmed its "principled position in favor of an uncompromising fight with the global terrorist evil, free of double standards, and an increase in broad international cooperation to that end."

The statement expressed condolences for those who lost their lives and wished a speedy recovery to the injured, adding that Moscow is ready to continue "bolstering our coordination of consistent antiterrorist efforts with Saudi Arabia and other countries both within and outside the region."

Saudi response

Saudi Arabia's crown prince and top anti-terror official reassured Saudis Tuesday of the country's security after Monday's suicide attacks targeting the holy city of Medina, the U.S. consulate in Jeddah and Shi'ites in the city of Qatif, as officials from the royal family visited the wounded in hospitals and the scene of the Jeddah blast.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Islamic State has carried out a number of similar bombings in Saudi Arabia in the past year.

The Medina blast happened at a checkpoint outside one of Islam's holiest sites, the Prophet's Mosque, where the Prophet Muhammad is buried. Millions of Muslims visit there each year during pilgrimages to Mecca.

The Saudi Interior Ministry said the attacker blew himself up after being confronted by security officers.

The mosque was busy Monday as Muslims prepare to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan this week. After the explosion, Saudi television showed video of crowds still packing the site.

Authorities are also investigating a suicide bombing at a Shi'ite mosque in the eastern city of Qatif. The Interior Ministry said parts of three bodies were found, but had not been identified.

The first bombing Monday happened near the U.S. consulate in the western city of Jeddah. It unfolded in a similar manner to the Medina attack, with a bomber detonating his explosives after being approached by security guards. Two officers had minor injuries. The U.S. Embassy reported no injuries among its staff.