Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi strongly condemned a foiled terrorist attack targeting the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, calling on regional nations to make unceasing efforts to combat “the sinister phenomenon” of terrorism.
“The plot hatched by a number of criminal terrorists to attack Masjid al-Haram (the Grand Mosque in Mecca) that ended in failure has once again proven that the current unbridled growing terrorism that has targeted the entire world, the region, and especially Muslims and Islamic countries, knows no religion, geography, race or nationality,” Qassemi said in a statement on Saturday.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran once again warns all states and particularly regional countries against this hideous and sinister phenomenon (terrorism),” he added.
The Iranian spokesman further called on all regional nations to remain vigilant and make “unceasing efforts” to fight this symbol of enmity, hatred, and violence.
Saudi security forces foiled a suicide attack on the Grand Mosque in Mecca, cornering the alleged potential attacker before he blew himself up, the Interior Ministry said.
In a statement read on state television, the ministry said that three cells had planned the attack on worshippers and security forces at the mosque as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan nears its climax.
The trapped would-be suicide bomber exchanged fire with the security forces, then set off explosives when he was surrounded in a house in a central Mecca neighborhood, the ministry said.
The building collapsed, injuring six foreigners and five members of the security forces.
Earlier in the day, security forces had shot dead a wanted man at another suspected militant hideout in Mecca’s al-Aseelah neighborhood.
The ministry also said a third cell had been broken up in the Red Sea city of Jeddah but gave no further details.
Five suspected militants including a woman were arrested, it said.
The Grand Mosque houses Islam’s holiest site, the cube-shaped Kaaba that Islam’s followers pray toward five times a day.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the plot to attack the mosque