State-linked Saudi news websites reported a suicide bombing that killed at least two people Monday outside one of Islam's holiest sites in the city of Medina, the same day that two suicide bombers struck different cities in Saudi Arabia, one of them near a U.S. consulate.
Sabq news site reported that the Medina explosion unfolded Monday evening. Other sites showed images of what appeared to be a fire outside one of the buildings overlooking the Prophet's Mosque.
The suicide bombing killed two security officers, Reuters reported.
Qari Ziyaad Patel, 36, from Johannesburg, South Africa, was at the mosque when he heard a blast just as the call to sunset prayers was ending. People were breaking their fast with dates so the mood was subdued, he said. Many at first thought it was the sound of traditional, celebratory cannon fire, but then he felt the ground shake.
"The vibrations were very strong," he said. "It sounded like a building imploded."
The sprawling mosque where the Prophet Muhammad is buried is visited by millions of Muslims from around the world each year during pilgrimages to Mecca. The area would have been teeming with pilgrims for prayer during the final days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends this week.
The Interior Ministry could not be immediately reached for comment.
Earlier Monday, a suicide bomber carried out an attack near a U.S. diplomatic site in the western Saudi city of Jiddah wounding two security guards, according to the Interior Ministry. Also, a resident in the largely Shiite eastern Saudi region of Qatif said a suicide bomber and a car bomb struck a neighborhood there, but that no injuries were immediately reported.
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