Saudi wounds guard at French consulate in knife attack

1 month ago 24
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Saudi police say the attacker in Jeddah was a Saudi citizen, but it did not give the nationality of the guard, who they say has sustained minor injuries.

A Saudi citizen has wounded a guard in a knife attack at the French consulate in Jeddah on Thursday, state media and the French embassy said.

“The assailant was apprehended by Saudi security forces immediately after the attack. The guard was taken to hospital and his life is not in danger,” the embassy said in a statement.

Police in Mecca province, where Jeddah is situated, said the attacker was a Saudi, but it did not give the nationality of the guard, who they said had sustained minor injuries.

The French embassy in Riyadh strongly condemned the attack and urged its nationals in Saudi Arabia to exercise “extreme vigilance”.

Neither the Saudi authorities nor the French embassy gave any indication of the motivation for the attack.

The assault came after a suspect in France, also armed with a knife, killed at least three people and wounded several others at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday morning, French officials said, in an incident the city’s mayor described as an act of “terrorism”.

Mayor Christian Estrosi said on Twitter that the attacker had been detained, adding that one of the victims was killed in “horrible” way, “like the professor” – an apparent reference to the recent attack on French teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded in broad daylight.

The exact motives of the attacks in France and Saudi Arabia remain unclear but both incidents come amid growing anger in the Middle East over French President Emmanuel Macron’s push to “reform” Islam and as he has vowed not to “give up cartoons” depicting the Prophet Muhammad, which have triggered a growing boycott of French goods in the Arab world.

The caricatures, which are deeply offensive to Muslims, are part of a renewed debate on freedom of expression after Paty’s killing.

On Thursday, Muslims around the world are celebrating the Prophet’s birthday.



Al Jazeera and News agencies

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