There was palpable tension in Nigeria, on Saturday night, as a suicide bomber blew himself up, near the Grand Mosque, in Mecca, as the Police disrupted a plot to target the holiest site in Islam, just as the fasting month of Ramadan, ends. Incase you missed reading it, Read Here.
The tension came as the number 3 citizen, the person of the Senate President of Nigeria, Bukola Saraki, was part of those that recently traveled to Mecca, for the lesser hajj.
Recall, that Saraki had earlier released a statement from Mecca, saying that he had traveled to the Holy city, to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari’s health.
Commenting on the attack, the Interior Ministry said it launched a raid around Jiddah, as well as two areas in Mecca itself, including the Ajyad Al-Masafi neighbourhood, located near the Grand Mosque.
The Interior Ministry said the thwarted “terrorist plan” would have violated “all sanctities, by targeting the security of the Grand Mosque, the holiest place on earth.”
“They obeyed their evil and corrupt self-serving schemes, managed from abroad, whose aim is to destabilize the security and stability of this blessed country”, it said.
The Ministry did not however, name the group involved in the attack. The disrupted attack comes at a sensitive time in Saudi Arabia.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry, on Saturday, condemned the Mecca plot, and said it remains willing to work with other countries in confronting militancy.
As the Interior Ministry announced the raid, over 1 million Muslim faithfuls prayed at the Prophet’s Mosque, in Medina, to mark the end of Ramadan.
Recall, that in July 2016, a suicide bombing there killed four members of Saudi Arabia’s security force.
Millions of Muslims from around the world visit the mosque, the burial site of the Prophet Mohammad, every year, as part of their pilgrimage.