Saudi security forces reveal details of operation against four attackers in Abu Hadria region

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The attackers were driving in a Tahoe when they were stopped by security forces before opening fire on security personnel. (SPA)
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The attackers used various weapons during the attack including two glock pistols, seven machine guns and a hand grenade. (SPA)
Updated 09 April 2019

Saudi security forces reveal details of operation against four attackers in Abu Hadria region

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's security forces revealed the details of an operation against four attackers in the Abu Hadria region, who targeted security personnel with guns and explosives.

According to a statement from a spokesman for state security, two wanted men, Majid Al-Faraj and Mahmoud Al-Zarea, were killed during the operation - while others, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were arrested following the operation.

Having identified the men as wanted, security forces intercepted a Tahoe 4x4 vehicle which the attackers were traveling in. 

Security forces intercepted them and demanded their surrender, before the wanted men opened fire towards security personnel, who returned fire. The vehicle the attackers were using suffered damage, before they threw a hand grenade at a local fuel station and seized a tanker truck at gunpoint.

A Bahraini woman who had stopped at the fuel station and a Pakistani citizen who had been behind the wheel of the tanker truck were injured in the attack, as were two security personnel. They are being treated for their injuries.

According to the security forces statement, various weapons were seized following the attack including two glock pistols, seven machine guns and a hand grenade. A forged Bahraini ID card with a photo of wanted suspect Majid Al-Faraj on it and SR66,178 were also seized by security forces.

Early reports after the incident suggested the attackers were trying to bypass a security checkpoint to escape Saudi Arabia, as three of them were on a most wanted list in the Qatif region.

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

Updated 06 June 2020

Worshippers flock to reopened Prophet’s Mosque for Friday prayers

MADINAH: Hundreds of thousands of worshippers attended the first Friday prayers to be held at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah since the gatherings were suspended to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

The green light for the resumption of the prayer meetings came as part of a plan to gradually reopen the Kingdom’s mosques while ensuring worshippers and visitors adhered to preventive measures.

A ban on access to the Rawdah remained in place and only groups of worshippers numbering up to a maximum of 40 percent of the mosque’s capacity were being allowed entry.

Precautionary measures also included the allocation of specific doors for the entry of worshippers, the installation of thermal cameras, removal of all carpets so that prayers could be performed on the marble, sanitization of the mosque’s floors and courtyards, periodic opening of domes and canopies to ventilate the mosque, and the removal of Zamzam water containers.

The Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah will be closed after evening prayers and reopened one hour before dawn prayers. Parking lots will operate at 50 percent capacity and a media awareness campaign has been launched to highlight safety procedures at the holy site.

Medical teams have also been stationed at the main entrances to the mosque in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

Elsewhere in the Kingdom, worshippers also flocked to perform Friday prayers at mosques amid strict health measures.

On May 31, Saudi authorities reopened all mosques for prayers, except in Makkah, as part of the Kingdom’s plan for a gradual return to normal life.

Last week the minister of Islamic affairs, dawah and guidance said that the country’s mosques were ready to welcome back worshippers, following his field trips to check that necessary preparations had been made.

All worshippers must still maintain a distance of 2 meters between rows, wear masks to enter a mosque, and Friday sermons and prayers have been limited to a maximum of 15 minutes.