Saudi flag. Image: ISTOCK
Saudi flag. Image: ISTOCK

Paris/Riyadh — Several people were wounded in a blast in Saudi Arabia targeting a World War 1 remembrance ceremony hosted by French and other Western diplomats. It was the second attack in two weeks on French interests in the kingdom.

The explosion struck a cemetery in the coastal city of Jeddah on Wednesday as the French, American, British, Italian and Greek embassies marked the war’s armistice, according to a joint statement from the missions. A French foreign ministry spokesperson — who couldn’t be identified in line with ministry rules — confirmed that several people were hurt, while declining to elaborate on the number of wounded and their nationalities.

Saudi Arabia’s state television channel said a Saudi security personnel and a Greek consulate worker were among the wounded.

“Such attacks on innocent people are shameful and entirely without justification,” the embassies said in their joint statement. “We pledge our support to the Saudi authorities as they investigate this attack and prosecute its perpetrators.”

In October, a Saudi assailant injured a guard with a sharp object outside the French consulate in Jeddah. Authorities haven’t given a motive for either of the attacks, which follow comments by French President Emmanuel Macron that were deemed offensive by many Muslims and triggered anger in the Middle East.

Earlier on Wednesday, the US consulate in Jeddah had warned citizens of an explosion at the non-Muslim cemetery in the city, without providing further details. The consulate advised Americans to avoid the area and exercise caution in public places, reminding them that terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in the conservative Islamic kingdom.

Bloomberg

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