Saudi Arabia: 4 wounded in bomb blast at WWI memorial in Jeddah
Four people were injured after an explosion at a non-Muslim cemetery in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah on Wednesday.
France’s foreign ministry said several people were wounded in a bomb attack at a World War I commemoration ceremony attended by European diplomats.
“The annual ceremony commemorating the end of World War I at the non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah, attended by several consulates, including that of France, was the target of an IED [improvised explosive device] attack this morning, which injured several people,” the ministry said.
“France strongly condemns this cowardly, unjustifiable attack.”
The explosion was confirmed by an official from Greece who declined to named.
“There was some sort of a blast at the non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah. There are four slightly injured, among them one Greek,” the official said, without providing further details.
Wednesday’s blast came as French President Emmanuel Macron – the target of ire in much of the Muslim world for vowing comments disparaging Islam following a spate of attacks – attended a WWI memorial ceremony in Paris.
Several countries are marking the 102nd anniversary of the armistice signed by Germany and Allied countries to end the 1914-18 war.
Macron has vigorously defended the right to publish cartoons viewed as offensive by Muslims, including caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed printed by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The same cartoons were shown by French history teacher Samuel Paty to pupils in a class on free speech, leading to his beheading outside Paris on October 16 following an online campaign by parents angry over his choice of lesson material.
Macron’s stance angered many Muslims, prompting angry protests in several countries and a campaign to boycott French products.
Last month, a Saudi citizen with a knife injured a guard at the French consulate in Jeddah on the same day that a knife-wielding man killed three people in a church in Nice in southern France.
Saudi Arabia – home to Islam’s holiest sites – has criticised the cartoons but “strongly” condemned last month’s attack in Nice.
On Tuesday, Macron hosted a summit of European leaders to plot a joint approach to combating what he calls “Islamist radicalism” after four people were killed in a shooting rampage in the heart of Vienna last week.