Saudi security forces seal off cemetery where Remembrance Day attack took place

Saudi authorities have secured a cemetery for non-Muslims in Jeddah; where a blast occurred earlier on Wednesday and injured two people. 

Al-Ekhbariya TV channel showed footage of the area around the cemetery and said the situation was stable. 

Makkah region authorities described the attack as “cowardly” and “unsuccessful;” and said that an employee of the Greek consulate and a Saudi security officer suffered injuries during a Remembrance Day ceremony held by the French consulate in Jeddah.

Earlier, AFP reported that a bomb had struck a World War I commemoration; attended by European diplomats in Jeddah, leaving several people wounded.

“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;” France’s foreign ministry said.

“The embassies that were involved in the commemoration ceremony condemn this cowardly attack, which is completely unjustified,” the ministry added. 

“Such attacks on innocent people are shameful and entirely without justification;” said a joint statement issued by the embassies of the five countries in attendance.

Global condemnation

The UAE issued a statement condemning what it called a “cowardly attack,” adding that it stood in solidarity; with and supported the Kingdom in any measure to preserve its security.

Egypt condemned the “brutal attack that targeted the cemetery in Jeddah” and says it supports Saudi Arabia with any measures the Kingdom takes to protect its security. 

The Embassies of France, Greece, Italy, the UK and the US; which were associated with Wednesday’s ceremony altogether condemned the “cowardly” and unjustified attack. 

They also thanked the “brave Saudi first responders; who assisted those at the scene” and pledged their support to “the Saudi authorities as they investigate this attack and prosecute its perpetrators.”

markedly the French consulate in the UAE issued a statement Wednesday confirming several people had been wounded in the incident.

“Once again, France was the target of an attack during the commemorations of November 11; organized by the Consulate General of France, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This attack left several wounded,” it said.

The French Embassy in the UAE equally said it was in close contact with the UAE authorities and that both remained “committed to ensuring a high level of stafety for our communities.”

By the same token the statement added that the Embassy and the Consulate General reiterated calls for people to show restraint and remain vigilant; especially when traveling, in particular in places visited by tourists and expatriate communities.

Expressing thanks to Riyadh

Moreover the Greek foreign ministry released a statementl; saying: “We unequivocally condemn today’s terrorist attack; which targeted a ceremony at Jeddah’s non-Muslim cemetery commemorating the end of World War I. A Greek police officer; who is serving at the Consulate General in Jeddah; and who was accompanying an employee of the Consulate General to the ceremony, got injuries in the attack.

“The police officer; who has been hospitalized, is in good health and out of danger. He has the support of the Consulate General and our Embassy in Riyadh; which remain in ongoing contact with the Saudi Arabian authorities. We wish him a speedy recovery.

“We also express our warm thanks to the Saudi Arabian authorities for the support and sympathy they showed from the very outset and for the efforts they are making to investigate the incident,” it added.

In addition; Djibouti’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dya-Eddine Said Bamakhrama condemned the attack and wished those wounded a speedy recovery.  

“While we wish the wounded a speedy recovery, we affirm our absolute solidarity with Saudi Arabia against all cowardly terrorist acts that will not affect the great position of this glorious country;” Bamakhrama said. 

EU support

Above all a statement by the EU delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia expressed support and solidarity with the Kingdom and the countries whose representatives were present at the ceremony. 

“We join these countries in condemning such cowardly attack against innocent people attending a peaceful commemoration. We wish a prompt recovery to those who were injured. And we thank the Saudi emergency services for their intervention at the scene and look forward to a prompt and thorough investigation of the incident and to the prosecution of its perpetrators;” the statement also said.

Equally important the UK’s Minister for the Middle East James Cleverly tweeted his condemnation of the attack. He also stated his confidence in the Saudi authorities; in order to investigate the incident and prosecute those responsible.