Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi security forces have foiled a terrorist attack on a Shi’ite mosque in the eastern city of Dammam on Friday, a security spokesman confirmed.
Four people were killed when a car bomb exploded near the Al-Anoud mosque, however the loss of life would have been far greater had the car been allowed to travel closer to the mosque.
In comments to the state-owned Saudi Press Agency (SPA), a Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman said: “Security men suspected a car parked adjacent to the mosque. When the security men approached the car, it exploded, killing four people. One of those killed is believed to be the driver.”
The attack targeted the Shi’ite Al-Anoud mosque during Friday prayers.
Last Friday a suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside a Shi’ite mosque in Qatif which resulted in the deaths of at least 21 people.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for both attacks.
Videos posted on social media appear to show the congregation inside Al-Anoud mosque reacting to the noise of an explosion outside the building.
Initial reports claimed the attack was not a car bomb, but a suicide bomber that had attempted to enter the mosque, detonating his explosives vest outside the mosque’s entrance. However Saudi authorities have denied this claim and images on social media have shown the wreckage of a car outside the mosque, in addition to images of the body of the alleged suicide bomber in the car park outside the mosque.
The investigation into the attack is ongoing and a detailed statement is expected to be issued later today.