4 July 2016
A suicide bomber blew himself up and injured two security guards outside the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Monday.
The early morning (2.15 a.m.) attack, targeting foreigners, has been cited as the first in Saudi Arabia in recent years.
The attack seemed strategic as it came on July 4, the day America celebrates its independence. No militant group has claimed responsibility.
Eyewitnesses said security guards accosted the attacker as he parked his car outside the consulate building in a suspicious manner.
As they moved to interrogate him, he detonated his device, killing himself and wounding two of the approaching officials.
Some hours later, three other blasts were heard from the site of the initial bombing.
Militant Islamic State has carried out series of bombings and shootings in Saudi Arabia since mid-2014, killing scores of people, mostly members of the Shi’ite Muslim minority and security officials.
Ten years ago, an al Qaeda campaign focused on Western expatriates in the world’s top oil exporter, killing hundreds in attacks on businesses and residential compounds.
One 2004 attack in particular hit the U.S. consulate building in Jeddah, killing nine.
No employee of the U.S. consulate was killed or injured in the Monday attack. The U.S. embassy says it is investigating the attack in conjunction with the government of Saudi Arabia.