Home Community Four wounded in a bomb blast at WWI memorial in Jeddah

Four wounded in a bomb blast at WWI memorial in Jeddah

[Fayez Nurdeldine/AFP]

According to Al Jazeera, the attack occurred at a World War I commemoration ceremony attended by European diplomats.

Multiple people were injured on Wednesday, when an explosive device struck a ceremony commemorating the end of World War I at a cemetery in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah.

France’s foreign ministry said several countries had representatives at the commemoration attended by European diplomats.

Source: Getty Images

“The annual ceremony commemorating the end of World War I at the non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah, attended by several consulates, including that of France, was the target of an IED [improvised explosive device] attack this morning, which injured several people,” the ministry said.

“France strongly condemns this cowardly, unjustifiable attack.”

The explosion was confirmed by an official from Greece who declined to be named.

“There was some sort of a blast at the non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah. There are four slightly injured, among them one Greek,” the official said, without providing further details.

France has urged its citizens in the kingdom to be “on maximum alert” amid heightened tensions after an assailant decapitated a French middle school teacher who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class.

“In particular, exercise discretion and stay away from all gatherings and be cautious when moving around,” said a foreign ministry statement, which was circulated to French residents in Jeddah.

Saudi officials have yet to comment on the attack and Saudi state-run media did not report it. King Salman is also scheduled to deliver an annual address to the nation on Wednesday, laying out policy priorities for the coming year.

The bombing on Wednesday came as a WWI remembrance ceremony in Paris was attended by French President Emmanuel Macron, the object of outrage in most of the Muslim world for promising to protect remarks and photos disparaging Islam after a series of assaults.

French President Emmanuel Macron. Source: NYT

The 102nd anniversary of the armistice signed by Germany and Allied countries to end the 1914-1918 war is celebrated by many nations.

Macron has actively defended the freedom to publish comics, including caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad printed by the satirical journal Charlie Hebdo, deemed to be highly insulting by Muslims.

The same cartoons were shown to pupils in a free speech class by French history teacher Samuel Paty, leading to his beheading outside Paris on October 16 after an online petition by parents furious about his choice of lesson material.

The stance of Macron offended many Muslims, causing angry demonstrations and a movement to boycott French goods in many countries.

Last month, a Saudi citizen wounded a guard with a knife at the French Consulate in Jeddah on the same day that three people were killed in a church in Nice in southern France by a knife-wielding man.

Saudi Arabia, home to the holiest places of Islam, has denounced the cartoons but denounced the attack in Nice last month “strongly.”

On Tuesday, after four people were killed in a shooting spree in the heart of Vienna last week, Macron convened a summit of European leaders to plot a collective solution to countering what he terms ‘Islamist radicalism.’

On behalf of The Invitation Magazine, we condemn the attack in Jeddah and stand in solidarity with the families, relatives, friends and the wider community. We believe an attack on one person is an attack on the entire humanity.

Previous articleWhat keeps you firm in wearing the Hijab?
Next articleFive boredom busters for the lockdown blues