According to local sources, a grenade attack was reported on 11 November against the non-Muslim cemetery of al-Balad in Jeddah. A 11-November commemorative ceremony, organised by several diplomatic representations including France, was the target of the attack.
The grenade was allegedly thrown over the wall surrounding the cemetery. Several expatriates were present at the event. A European diplomat said that 4 people were injured in the attack, including a Greek and an Italian national. Saudi guards were also reportedly injured. A French diplomatic source reported that the assailant was arrested.
The Saudi authorities have so far given no details of the attack and the number of wounded.
In response to the attack, the French embassy in Riyadh renewed its “calls for maximum vigilance” with regard to French nationals resident in or passing through the Kingdom, in particular “when travelling”.
As a reminder, a Saudi national attacked a guard at the French consulate in Jeddah with a knife on 29 October.
These new attacks in Saudi Arabia take place in the context of a climate of anger against France in the Muslim world due to the republication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by the newspaper Charlie Hebdo and Emmanuel Macron’s comments on Islam. As a reminder, several terrorist organisations, including Al Qaeda, have explicitly called to target French interests in France and abroad.