Suicide Attacker Strikes Near US Consulate in Saudi City

Consular staff unharmed in Jiddah attack
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 4, 2016 12:02 AM CDT
Suicide Attacker Strikes Near US Consulate in Saudi City
Saudi security officers stand guard during a presidential visit.   (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

A suicide bomber carried out an attack early Monday near a US diplomatic site in the western Saudi city of Jiddah, according to the Interior Ministry. The ministry said in a statement the attacker detonated his suicide vest when security guards approached him near the parking lot of a hospital. The attacker died and two security men were wounded with minor injuries, according to the statement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, per the AP. An Interior Ministry spokesman says the attacker caught the attention of the security guards, who noticed he was acting suspiciously at an intersection located on the corner of the heavily fortified US consulate.

The US Embassy in Saudi Arabia confirmed in a statement for US citizens that there were no casualties or injuries among consular staff. The embassy said it remains in contact with Saudi authorities as they investigate the attack. A 2004 al-Qaeda-linked militant attack on same consulate killed five locally hired consular employees and four gunmen. More recently, Saudi Arabia has been a target of ISIS attacks that have killed dozens of people. The embassy urged Americans Monday to "remain aware of their surroundings, and take extra precautions when travelling throughout the country." It also advised citizens to "carefully consider the risks of traveling to Saudi Arabia." (More Saudi Arabia stories.)

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