Attack on Al-Ahsa mosque leaves several dead

Updated 01 February 2016
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Attack on Al-Ahsa mosque leaves several dead

JEDDAH: An attack on a mosque in Al-Ahsa on Friday has left four worshipers dead and 18 others injured and a terrorist in police custody, the Interior Ministry said.
The ministry confirmed that two men carried out the attack on Al-Ridha Mosque in Mahasin district.
Security men spotted the attackers as they drove up to the mosque during the Friday congregational prayer. In the process of stopping the attackers from entering the mosque, one detonated his suicide belt and another was captured.
In the attack’s chaotic aftermath, police fired weapons into the air to drive away an angry mob that surrounded a police car holding the suspected attacker, according to a video shot from the scene.
A witness said security forces and ambulances quickly surrounded the mosque.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but Daesh has previously carried out similar attacks in the Kingdom. Police have launched an investigation.
The attack was roundly condemned with senior scholars praising the diligent work of the security officials in helping to avert a bigger disaster. In a statement, the scholars said the attacks showed the keenness of citizens in “preserving consensus and unity under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.”
Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that such acts “will never succeed in undermining the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s security or igniting sedition or dispute among the Saudi people.”
Jordan’s government spokesman Mohammed Al-Momani said the attack on worshippers “reiterates once again that terrorism is blind and it that no one is excluded from its evils.”
Al-Ahsa is in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, which last year saw two major mosque attacks.
Last May, a suicide bomber blew himself up during Friday prayers at a mosque in the village of Al-Qadeeh in eastern Saudi Arabia, killing 21 and wounding 100 others.
Days later, Khaled Al-Wahbi Al-Shemari, who was dressed as a woman, detonated the explosive belt he was wearing when challenged by security volunteers at the entrance of Al-Anoud Mosque in Dammam. The blast caused panic and chaos as worshippers rushed to get out of the building and several cars were set alight in the parking lot by the force of the explosion. Daesh claimed responsibility for both attacks.
The Interior Ministry said soon after they had detained 45 suspects in connection with the mosque attacks.


Rohingya refugee camp quiet after Bangladesh scraps return

Updated 14 min 21 sec ago
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Rohingya refugee camp quiet after Bangladesh scraps return

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh: Normal life has returned to a Rohingya Muslim refugee camp in Bangladesh a day after government officials abandoned plans to begin repatriating residents to Myanmar after finding no one wanted to go.
About 500 refugees crowded into a mosque on Friday for prayers in Unchiprang, one of the camps near the city of Cox’s Bazar that house more than 700,000 Rohingya who fled military-led violence in Myanmar.
An imam told the devotees that the government could not force Rohingya to go back without Myanmar guaranteeing them protection and civil rights, to which they replied, “Amen.”
Some people on the government’s repatriation list left their shanties and disappeared into other camps to avoid being sent home, while others joined a large demonstration against the plan.
Some who fled returned Friday.