Saudi says its citizen carried out mosque suicide blast

Interior ministry says 21-year-old Yussef al-Suleiman was behind attack in Asir province that left 15 policemen dead.

    The bombing on Thursday of a mosque killed 15 people, mostly members of the security forces [AP]
    The bombing on Thursday of a mosque killed 15 people, mostly members of the security forces [AP]

    Saudi Arabia says the suicide bomber who carried out a suicide attack at a mosque located inside a police headquarters, killing 15 people, was one of its own citizens.

    The Saudi interior ministry on Saturday named the bomber as 21-year-old Yussef bin Suleiman bin Abdullah al-Suleiman. He detonated an explosives-packed vest inside the mosque in southern Asir province.

    The deadly bombing on Thursday that also wounded nine others was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group.

    A ministry spokesman, quoted by al-Ekhbariya state television, said 11 of those killed were policemen and four were Bangladeshis who worked at the police compound.

    The mosque was frequented by members of a police special weapons and tactics unit in the southern city of Abha.

    According to the interior ministry spokesperson, al-Suleiman had been arrested two years ago over his participation in a sit-in in the city of Buraida that was calling for the release of prisoners. He was released 45 days after investigations did not prove he was guilty.

    Following Thursday’s bombing, the ISIL-affiliated al-Hijaz Province group said in an online statement that it was behind the attack.

    It was the latest and deadliest attack against security forces in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.

    It had identified the bomber as Abu Sinan al-Najdi and vowed to carry out fresh strikes against "tyrants in the Arabian Peninsula ... in the coming days".

    ISIL, which controls swaths of Syria and Iraq, has expanded across the region, claiming responsibility for attacks on two Shia mosques in Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia in May and a third in Kuwait in June.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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