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Saudi security foils terror plot targeting Mecca Grand Mosque and pilgrims

Suspect blows himself up as interior ministry accuses evil and corrupt self-serving schemes controlled from abroad

Saudi Arabian security force have foiled a fear plot targeting the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, exchanging gunfire with one of the supposes who blew himself up inside a dwelling on Friday, the ministry of internal affairs said.

The ministry described the story as part of self-serving strategies managed from abroad.

Five people, including the status of women, were arrested in protection runnings in Mecca, the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news website mentioned, quoting interior ministry protection spokesman Mansour al-Turki.

Five security force members and six other people were injured, the report said.

Turki told police foiled the terrorist programme that targeted the safety of the Grand Mosque, pilgrims and worshippers.

In dawn raids on Mecca and the Red Sea city of Jeddah officers apprehended suspects before surrounding the bombers location close to the Grand Mosque.

Unfortunately he started killing towards protection personnel once he noticed their existence in the following areas, which led to an exchange of burn before he blew himself up, Turki said.

The blast partially collapsed the building where he had taken refuge, injuring six pilgrims, Turki said.

He added that four had already been released from hospital, and five protection boys were also slightly hurt.

The interior ministry said in a statement it confirms that this terrorist system, whose terrorist project was thwarted, transgressed, in what they would have perpetrated, all sanctities by targeting the security of the Grand Mosque, the holiest place on Earth.

They obeyed their villainy and corrupt self-serving schemes managed from abroad whose aim is to destabilise the security and stability of this blessed country, the statement said.

The ministry did not epithet the group involved in the attack. The ultraconservative Sunni kingdom duelled an al-Qaida insurgency for years and more recently has faced attempts from a local limb of the Islamic State group.

Since belatedly 2014 Saudi Arabia has faced periodic bombings and fire shooting claimed by Isis.

Near the end of Ramadan last year in the Saudi city of Medina four security officers died in an detonation close to Islams second holiest site, the Prophets Mosque.

It was one of three suicide smashes all over the kingdom on the same day, in which a total of 7 people were belief killed. The others occurred in Jeddah and in the Gulf city of Qatif.

The US Central Intelligence Agency supposed those attacks suffered the specific characteristics of Isis.

Most of the targets in Saudi Arabia have been the Shiite minority and security forces, killing dozens of people.

Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called for onslaughts against the realm, a member of the US-led coalition battling different groups in Syria and Iraq.

Since July last year police have arrested around 40 people, including Saudis and Pakistanis, for alleged radical links.

Saudi Arabias counter-terrorism capabilities which for years were led by Prince Mohammed bin Nayef are well-regarded internationally.

On Wednesday Prince Mohammed was ousted from his posts of crown prince and home minister, replaced as heir to the throne by King Salmans son Mohammed bin Salman.

Fridays counter-terrorist operation was the first to take place for the purposes of the brand-new home minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef, who is in his early 30 s.

Prince Abdulaziz is the nephew of the deposed minister.

The Grand Mosque has been the target of militants before. In 1979, a group impounded the mosque, home to the cube-shaped Kaaba that Muslims pray toward five times a day, for two weeks as they required the royal family renounce the throne.

The official toll of the assault and subsequent struggle to recapture the mosque from the thousands of armed militants was over 100 people killed and 500 wounded.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries have cut diplomatic ties to neighboring Qatar and are trying to isolate the energy-rich country over its alleged corroborate of militants and ties to Iran. Qatar long has denied those allegations.

Agence France-Presse and Associated Press contributed to this report

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