Several people have been wounded in a bomb attack at a Remembrance Day ceremony attended by foreign diplomats in the Saudi city of Jeddah.
The embassies of France, Greece, Italy, the UK and the US said an improvised explosive device blew up at a cemetery for non-Muslims on Wednesday morning.
A joint statement strongly condemned the “cowardly attack”.
Saudi authorities confirmed that a Greek consulate employee and a Saudi security officer had been hurt. One British person suffered minor injuries.
The government of Mecca province described the attack on the ceremony as “cowardly” and said security forces had launched an investigation.
Last month, a guard at the French consulate in Jeddah was stabbed and injured by a Saudi man on the same day that three people were killed in a knife attack in the French city of Nice that was blamed on an “Islamist terrorist”. “This morning, at the Jeddah Cemetery, a ceremony commemorating the end of World War I was the target of an improvised explosive device attack,” said a joint statement issued by the French, Greek, Italian, British and American embassies in Riyadh. “Such attacks on innocent people are shameful and entirely without justification,” it added. “We wish those who were injured a prompt recovery, and thank the brave Saudi first responders who assisted those at the scene. We pledge our support to the Saudi authorities as they investigate this attack and prosecute its perpetrators.”
A Saudi-based French journalist, Clarence Rodriguez, tweeted photographs showing the aftermath of the bombing, including one appearing to show an injured person receiving treatment. “Attempted attack this morning at the non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah. During the #11November ceremony. In the presence of the consuls-general of France, [Ireland], [Britain]… and French expatriates,” she wrote. “There are wounded…  days after the knife attack at the consulate, France targeted once again!?”
She added that a Greek security officer in plain clothes was seriously wounded. He had just taken up his post at the Greek consulate.
A Greek diplomatic official told Reuters news agency that four people were slightly injured by the blast, one of them Greek.
The French consulate in Jeddah urged French nationals in Saudi Arabia to exercise “maximum vigilance” following the attack, according to Reuters.