RIYADH: A Saudi Arabian man wanted in connection with a deadly 2015 bombing in the kingdom detonated an explosive device in Jeddah on Wednesday as security forces attempted to arrest him, killing himself and injuring four others, state media reported on Friday.

The terror suspect, identified as Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Shehri, detonated the explosive belt on Wednesday night in Jeddah’s Al Samer neighbourhood, injuring three members of the security forces, who were seeking to arrest him, and a Pakistani national, Saudi news agency SPA reported on Friday.

The injured, who were not named, were taken to hospital, it said, without giving details of their injuries.

One Pakistani, three security personnel shifted to hospital

According to Saudi state media reports, Al-Shehri was suspected of being a member of a domestic terrorism cell that coordinated the 2015 suicide bombing of a mosque in Abha frequented by security force members. Eleven members of the security forces and four Bangladeshi nationals were killed in the attack, and 33 people were injured, state media reported at the time.

The Saudi Arabian government named Al-Shehri in early 2016 as one of six Saudi nationals wanted in connection with the bombing.

Saudi Arabia was the scene of a series of large-scale militant attacks in the 2000s, including on security forces and Western targets.

Such attacks were carried out by the Islamic State miltant group, Al Qaeda and other organisations.

Though attacks have since mostly subsided, several people were wounded in a 2020 attack that used an explosive on a World War One remembrance ceremony in Jeddah.

Earlier this year, French prosecutors opened a terrorism investigation into a December 2021 explosion under a French vehicle involved in the Dakar rally sports race in Saudi Arabia.

Published in Dawn, August 13th, 2022

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