Multiple injured by grenade during French remembrance service attended by British at Saudi cemetery

A grenade attack has injured four people at a French remembrance service attended by British diplomats in Saudi Arabia.  

One Greek official and a Saudi guard were among the injured after an explosive was hurled over the wall of a non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah.

It comes just 12 days after a guard was stabbed outside the French consulate in the Saudi capital. The same day, three people were killed in a Nice church in one of several recent Islamist terror attacks in France. 

France has been the focus of furious protests across the Islamic world after Emmanuel Macron’s staunch defence of freedom of expression following the beheading of a French schoolteacher by a jihadist over Charlie Hebdo cartoons. 

Jeddah police said today they had arrested a man after the explosive was hurled wall at officials. They are investigating the incident as a terrorist attack. 

The Ministry of Defence confirmed to MailOnline that there were no British casualties at the commemoration which was attended by several European diplomats and their military attachés.  

The French foreign ministry meanwhile condemned the ‘cowardly, unjustifiable attack’ on British, French and Greek diplomats. 

A wounded person appears to be on the ground as men in military dress signal to each other. One of the officers (left) appears to be wearing a British Army uniform

A wounded person appears to be on the ground as men in military dress signal to each other. One of the officers (left) appears to be wearing a British Army uniform

A wounded person appears to be on the ground as men in military dress signal to each other. One of the officers (left) appears to be wearing a British Army uniform

Men in military dress appear to be treating a wounded person lying on the ground at the cemetery in Jeddah, the Saudi capital

Men in military dress appear to be treating a wounded person lying on the ground at the cemetery in Jeddah, the Saudi capital

Men in military dress appear to be treating a wounded person lying on the ground at the cemetery in Jeddah, the Saudi capital

Blood spatters the ground close to wreathes laid for the Remembrance Day service

Blood spatters the ground close to wreathes laid for the Remembrance Day service

Blood spatters the ground close to wreathes laid for the Remembrance Day service

Police in Mecca province, where Jeddah is situated, said they feared terrorism was behind Wednesday’s blast.

‘It is being investigated as a terrorist attack against foreign dignitaries,’ said a police source. ‘Those present included British, French and Greek diplomats. There are numerous casualties.’

The French foreign ministry said: ‘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 attack this morning, which injured several people.

‘France strongly condemns this cowardly, unjustifiable attack.’ 

French senator Damien Regnard tweeted: ‘All my support to our compatriots in Saudi Arabia and in Jeddah.’ 

Photos on social media purport to show a wounded person lying on the ground being treated by men in military dress, as well as blood spatters beside wreaths for the service.

One of the officers signalling to his colleagues in the aftermath appears to be wearing a British Army uniform.

Saudi state TV broadcast images of security personnel around the walls of the cemetery and reported that the situation was stable.

MailOnline has contacted the Foreign Office for comment. 

A Saudi attacker was arrested after stabbing and injuring a guard outside the the French consulate in Jeddah on October 29

A Saudi attacker was arrested after stabbing and injuring a guard outside the the French consulate in Jeddah on October 29

A Saudi attacker was arrested after stabbing and injuring a guard outside the the French consulate in Jeddah on October 29

 

Scene of the attack in Nice last month

Scene of the attack in Nice last month

Scene of the attack in Nice last month

Scene of the attack in Nice last month

A terror attack during Mass at the cathedral in Nice on October 29 coincided with the attack outside the French consulate in Jeddah

The French consulate in Jeddah urged its nationals in Saudi to ‘maximum vigilance’ following the blast.

‘In particular, exercise discretion, and stay away from all gatherings and be cautious when moving around,’ said the statement, which was circulated to French residents.

There has reportedly been a similar warning issued by the US Consulate in Jeddah.

‘The US Consulate-General in Jeddah is following an explosion that occured at the non-Muslim cemetery in central Jeddah.’ An image posted online of the email says.

‘American citizens are advised to avoid the nearby area and exercise caution in public places.’

Wednesday’s attack comes after a guard at the French embassy in Jeddah was stabbed on October 29.

France and its president Emmanuel Macron have been the focus of anger in the Islamic world in recent weeks

France and its president Emmanuel Macron have been the focus of anger in the Islamic world in recent weeks

France and its president Emmanuel Macron have been the focus of anger in the Islamic world in recent weeks  

History and geography teacher Samuel Paty, 47, who was decapitated outside a school near Paris on October 16 after receiving death threats for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a lesson

History and geography teacher Samuel Paty, 47, who was decapitated outside a school near Paris on October 16 after receiving death threats for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a lesson

History and geography teacher Samuel Paty, 47, who was decapitated outside a school near Paris on October 16 after receiving death threats for showing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a lesson

On that day, a knifeman murdered three people in Nice and a gunman was shot dead in Avignon. 

The attacks followed the beheading of history teacher Samuel Paty in the Parisian suburbs on October 16 after he showed a freedom of speech class cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

President Emmanuel Macron’s staunch defence of Mr Paty and his awarding him a posthumous Legion d’Honneur provoked furious protests across the Islamic world. 

Saudi Arabia – home to Islam’s holiest sites – has criticised the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, with a government spokesman saying it rejected ‘any attempt to link Islam and terrorism’. 

Link hienalouca.com

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