An attack involving an improvised explosive device (IED) has injured four people who were attending a ceremony commemorating the end of the First World War (WW1) at the Non-Muslim Cemetery in the Al-Balad area of Jeddah (Mekkah province) on Wednesday, November 11. Among those attending the ceremony were representatives from a number of European consulates, including France. It is currently unclear if any arrests have been made following the attack.
It is also not clear whether any specific delegation was targeted, however, the attack comes following the issuing of a warning on October 29 by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs warning of an increased terrorism threat against French nationals, and the stabbing of a security guard at the French consulate in Jeddah on the same day.
A heightened security presence is to be expected in the area while police carry out their investigation into the blast. An associated disruption to transportation is likely over the near term.
Teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded in an attack by an alleged Islamist extremist in the northern Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on October 16 after showing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad during a civics class. The attack prompted the arrest of a number of people linked to the attacker and comments from President Macron about religious rights and freedom of expression in French society. However, the government's response was seen by some communities as Islamophobic and has prompted a number of protests and calls for boycotts of French goods in some Muslim-majority countries.
Those in Jeddah are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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