The Guardian reports:
Suicide bombers killed four Saudi security forces on Monday in an attack outside the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, one of the two holiest sites in Islam, in an escalation not seen for decades.
The bombings, which hit a car park near the sprawling mosque complex, were the latest in a run of attacks in the kingdom on Monday. They took place a day before the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In the early hours of the day, Saudi officers foiled an attempted bombing near the US consulate in Jeddah, while a suicide bomber struck a mosque in the Shia-majority province of Qatif shortly before sunset.
Images circulated online showed smoke near the mosque, while a video showed two police officers lying near a car park with flames billowing nearby. Five people were wounded.
Every year millions of Muslim pilgrims from around the world visit the mosque, which was founded by Muhammad in the 7th century and contains his tomb as well as those of the first two caliphs, Abu Bakr and Omar. The adjacent grounds of al-Baqi’ contain the remains of many of the prophet’s companions, who were buried in Medina. The mosque complex is second only to the Grand Mosque in Mecca in its reverence by Sunnis and Shias.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but the bombings in Qatif and Jeddah were consistent with the modus operandi of Islamic State (Isis) in its targeting of Shia Muslims and US representatives, as well as Saudi interests.