Najran bomber was a 35-year-old Saudi

Updated 29 October 2015
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Najran bomber was a 35-year-old Saudi

JEDDAH: The suicide bomber who attacked a mosque in Najran on Monday killing two people and injuring several others was a Saudi national, according to reports on Tuesday.
The Interior Ministry said the bomber was Saad Saeed Al-Harthi, with reports claiming he was 35 and from Taif. He had re-entered Saudi Arabia illegally after spending four years in Syria with Daesh.
His father had notified the authorities sometime in 2011 that he had left Saudi Arabia. According to reports, he had first been spotted in Lebanon before traveling to Syria.
Said Al-Mardhama, son of a 95-year-old citizen who was killed, said at the funeral that his father blocked the young man, and prevented more people from being killed.
Al-Mardhama, who is president of the Najran Literary Club, said his father’s body showed no signs of major disfigurement even though the explosion had taken place close to him.
“When I went to the mosque and heard the news of the explosion I rushed to look for my father. I found him lying as if he was sound asleep. His body did not appear to be damaged even though the suicide bomber’s body was splattered across the mosque.”
Al-Mardhama said his father may have sensed he was coming to the end of his life because he had given him some money to pay off some debt. However, he probably did not know that he would be a victim of an attack from Daesh, which has already targeted locations in Al-Ahsa and Al-Qatif.
He said his father had on several occasions described these attacks as “lunacy” and had been surprised to see how many people had died just from belts packed with explosives.
“We knew that there was one victim but I didn’t expect that my 95-year-old father had stopped the bomber and prevented him from reaching the center of the mosque when he became suspicious of him.”
He said he had heard that his father had blocked the man and had pushed him to the floor. It was then that the suicide bomber detonated his explosives. His father had been given the strength because he was righteous. His mother was calm after hearing the news, he said.
He said that his oldest friend also died during attack. The two of them had often prayed together at the mosque.
There was widespread condemnation of the attack by organizations and nations on Tuesday, including Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan.
The Bahraini Foreign Ministry expressed their deep condolences and sympathies to the relatives and families of the martyrs and speedy recovery of all those injured because of this “blasphemous act.”
The ministry said that Bahrain supports the Kingdom’s efforts to ensure the country was safe and secure, and urged the international community to boost efforts against terrorism.
The Qatari Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning the “criminal act,” which it described as contrary to all humanitarian principles and teachings of Islam. Qatar said it supported the Kingdom, and expressed concern about the increasing suicide bombings targeting mosques and innocent worshipers to foster instability and sedition.
Jordan echoed the sentiments of Bahrain and Qatar in an official statement on Tuesday, reiterating its position in solidarity with Saudi Arabia in fighting terrorism and violence.
“Terrorism strikes in the ugliest forms by shedding innocent blood and killing innocent souls, which is a forbidden act that does not take into account the sanctity of the houses of God,” said government spokesman Mohammed Al-Momani.
The Islamic Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and Al-Azhar condemned the bombing, describing the act as a “heinous crime and corruption in the land, especially as the targeting of mosques and killing of innocent worshippers is one of the biggest crimes and acts of aggression against God and His Messenger.”
The General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars issued a statement condemning the attack, which it described as a “despicable attempt to shake our unity and stability,” but one that has “thankfully failed as it has only increased ... support for the country’s leadership.”
Abdullah bin Turki, secretary general of the Muslim World League, expressed his deep regret at the killing of innocent people and spreading of corruption under the banner of Islam.
He said these terrorist acts were aimed primarily at destabilizing the Kingdom and terrorizing innocent worshipers.


Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019
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Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.