Terror strikes Madinah; 4 cops martyred; all worshippers safe

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Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman prays at the Prophet's Mosque after the blast. (SPA)
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People look at the smoke rising from the scene of the blast in Madinah as 4 soldiers are martyred preventing bomber from accessing the Prophet's Mosque.
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Madinah Gov. Prince Faisal bin Salman talks to a security official who was hurt in the blast. (SPA)
Updated 05 July 2016

Terror strikes Madinah; 4 cops martyred; all worshippers safe

MADINAH/JEDDAH/QATIF: Normalcy prevailed over Madinah as the region’s Governor, Prince Faisal bin Salman, prayed amongst hundreds of thousands of worshipers at the Prophet’s Mosque hours after a suicide bomber attacked a police post outside the holy mosque.
The blast came after mosques were targeted in both Jeddah and Qatif. 
Four policemen were killed and five others were injured in Madinah when a suicide bomber struck in the vicinity of a police post outside the Prophet’s Mosque, according to the interior ministry.
The bombing took place in a parking lot between the city court and the mosque, visited by millions every year.
When security officials became suspicious of an individual who was heading to the Prophet’s Mosque they approached him resulting in him triggering his explosive belt killing four of the officers and injuring others.
Videos circulated on social media showed a car burning and at least two security officers lying on the ground and two others lay crumpled near a burning car. The bomber also died in the attack, which took place at the time of iftar. No worshipper was injured in the attack, said a press correspondent from the scene.
Earlier, in Qatif, two suicide bombers blew themselves up one after the other outside the Faraj Al-Omran Mosque. No casualties were reported. A witness said a car bomb was detonated near the mosque, which was followed by a suicide attack just before 7 p.m. Police have launched an investigation into the attack.
Before that at 2:15 a.m., a suicide bomber blew himself up near the US Consulate in Jeddah. Security officers confronted him as he moved suspiciously at a parking lot of the Dr. Soliman Fakeih Hospital. Two policemen were wounded lightly in the attack.
The bomber was name as Abdullah Qalzar Khan, an expat from Pakistan, who lived in Jeddah with his wife and her parents and came to the country 12 years ago to work as a private driver.
Photos taken from the scene showed the bomber’s body dismembered by the blast.
No claims of responsibility for any of the attacks have been made.
Daesh has carried out a series of bombing and shooting attacks in Saudi Arabia since 2014 that have killed scores of people, mostly Shiites and members of the security services. In January, a suicide bomber attacked a mosque in Al-Ahsa, killing four people before worshippers disarmed and tied up an accomplice who had shot at them.
In October last year, a gunman opened fire on worshippers in Qatif, killing five people before he was shot dead by police.


Preventive protocols issued as Saudi Arabia moves to relax curfew further

Updated 30 May 2020

Preventive protocols issued as Saudi Arabia moves to relax curfew further

RIYADH: As Saudi Arabia moved closer to Phase 2 of the gradual relaxation of coronavirus lockdown rules, the Ministry of Interior announced precautionary measures and preventive protocols for several sectors to follow.

The preventive protocols, prepared by the Ministry of Health,  covers the period from 8 Shawwal to 28 Shawwal 1441 in the Hijri calendar, corresponding to May 31 to June 20, 2020 in the Gregorian calendar.

A ministry official said the protocols are provided for mosques;  the public; petroleum, petrochemical and gas and other industries; malls and retail centers, home delivery service, among others.

The preventive protocols can be found at: https://covid19awareness.sa/archives/5460.

The MOI urged all citizens, expatriates and concerned authorities "to implement these procedures and abide by their provisions in order to preserve the safety of all".

Also on Saturday, the acting minister of economy and planning, Mohammad bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan, said the gradual lifting of the curfew "represents a new stage in the face of the global pandemic crisis and towards a gradual return to economic activities in the Kingdom to its normal levels."
 
"The decisions were taken after continuous coordination between the Ministry of Health and the concerned authorities, relying on a focused plan that seeks to balance between procedures for reopening economic activities and maintaining the stability of health and social conditions," said Jadaan, who is also the Kingdom's minister of finance.

Al-Jadaan highlighted that the government has increased – during the last period through the state’s general budget – spending on urgent and necessary requirements to face the crisis.

It has significantly strengthened the financial allocations for the Health and related services sector.

The government also launched urgent support initiatives to mitigate the impact on the private sector, supporting the economy and to preserve the jobs of citizens in economic establishments, he said in a statement carried by the SPA.