Blast near Saudi site possible suicide bombing

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – State-linked Saudi news websites, quoting unnamed security officials, say an explosion in Medina was caused by a suicide bomber.

Sabq reported that the suicide bomber detonated his vest near a security building outside the sprawling mosque where the Prophet Muhammad is buried, one of Islam’s holiest sites. The area was packed with pilgrims for prayer during the final days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Qari Ziyaad Patel, 36, from Johannesburg, South Africa, was at the mosque when he heard a blast just as the call to sunset prayers was ending and people were breaking their fast. Many at first thought it was the sound of traditional, celebratory cannon fire, but then he felt the ground shake.

He says “the vibrations were very strong… it sounded like a building imploded.”

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