A suicide bomber hits mosque south of Saudi

06-08-2015 02:19 PM

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - At least 12 security officers were killed on Thursday after a suicide bombing targeted a mosque used by the special forces in the southern Saudi city of Abha, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

The state television El-Ikhbariya said the explosion took place as worshippers were praying at a mosque used by Saudi special forces in Abha, describing it as a “terrorist” attack.

The broadcaster said at least 17 people were killed, however, an interior ministry spokesman gave a slightly lower toll of “more than 13 dead and 22 others injured.”

The victims were members of a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit, the spokesman told AFP.

“It’s confirmed there's an explosion and there's more than 13 (killed)... in a mosque,” the spokesman said.

Many nationals ran to help – providing blood at Abha hospital near to the where the attack happened. (More).

The explosion happened at the headquarters of the SWAT team, which is tasked with domestic security, he added.

Sources have said that the mosque belongs to an Interior Ministry emergency services’ post in Abha.

“A group of officers from the emergency forces were performing afternoon group prayers in Asir province when a suicide bombing took place. It resulted in the death of at least 10 security officers, in addition to the three employees who work at the site and wounding nine others, three of them seriously,” Interior Ministry spokesman Major General Mansour Al-Turki said in a statement.

“The remains of the dead were found on the site, believed to be caused by the bombing of explosive belts,” the Interior Ministry said on Twitter.

In July, Saudi Arabia arrested 431 people as part of a crackdown on a cluster of cells linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group.

It is not the first time a mosque is targeted in Saudi Arabia. ISIS claimed responsibility for the May explosion at a Shiite mosque in al-Qadeeh village east of Saudi Arabia during Friday prayers, which killed 20 people. ISIS was behind a bombing in al-Qadeeh in Qatif province, which also targeted Shiites to stir sectarian strife in the country.

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