Saudi man arrested after stabbing guard at French consulate in Jeddah

Saudi coastal city of Jeddah in a photo taken on April 21, 2020.
Saudi coastal city of Jeddah in a photo taken on April 21, 2020. © AFP - Bandar al-Dandani, AFP (file photo)

A Saudi citizen wounded a guard in a knife attack at the French consulate in the port city of Jeddah on Thursday, said the French embassy in Saudi Arabia. The attacker was arrested immediately after the attack.


The French embassy in Saudi Arabia said the consulate in Jeddah was subject to a "knife attack which targeted a guard", adding that the guard was taken to hospital and his life was not in danger.

The statement, which was posted on Twitter, said the French embassy “strongly condemns” the attack against a diplomatic outpost.

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.

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

The attack happened shortly after a knife-wielding man shouting "Allahu Akbar" beheaded a woman and killed two other people in the southern French city of Nice earlier on Thursday. Nice's mayor described the attack as terrorism.

The French Council for the Muslim Faith on Thursday strongly condemned the knife attack in Nice. "As a sign of mourning and solidarity with the victims and their loved ones, I call on all Muslims in France to cancel all the celebrations of the holiday of Mawlid," said a council representative.

The holiday marks the birthday of the Prophet Mohammed, which is being celebrated Thursday.

Saudi Arabia condemns cartoons

France is still reeling from the beheading earlier this month of Samuel Paty, a school teacher. Paty was killed by a teenager of Chechen origin who said he wanted to punish the teacher for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed during a class on freedom of expression.

French officials have defended the right to display the cartoons, sparking anger and calls for a boycott of French products in parts of the Muslim world.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday condemned cartoons offending the Prophet Mohammed, but held back from echoing calls by other Muslim states for action against images being displayed in France of the Prophet.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)


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