World News – CA – Saudi man arrested after stabbing guard at French consulate


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – A Saudi man stabbed and slightly injured a guard at the French consulate in the town of Jiddah on Thursday, authorities said, as France urged its citizens of the kingdom to be  » on high alert « 

The Saudi news agency has offered no immediate motive for the attack in the Red Sea port city.However, it comes amid heightened tensions after an assailant beheaded a French college professor who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad for a free speech class These cartoons were published by Charlie Hebdo and cited by the men who shot down the newspaper’s editorial meeting in 2015

The Saudi News Agency report, citing police spokesman Maj Mohammed al-Ghamdi, said the Special Force for Diplomatic Security was able to arrest the Saudi man after stabbing the guard  » using a sharp tool « The attacker is reportedly in his forties The guard was taken to hospital for treatment, the agency said

The report did not elaborate A statement issued by the French embassy in Riyadh reflected details of the news agency’s account, saying the diplomatic mission condemned the « unwarranted » attack

« We call on our compatriots in Saudi Arabia to be on high alert, » the statement read

In France on Thursday, authorities said an assailant armed with a knife killed three people in a church in the city of Nice It was not immediately clear whether this or Jiddah’s attack involved controversy current, which has seen protests in the Muslim world Muslims also called for a boycott of French products

In Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s holiest sites, there has been criticism of France but much more muted than in other countries The Saudi Foreign Ministry said that the kingdom « reject any attempt to link Islam and terrorism, and denounce the offensive caricatures of the prophetSaudi clerics also condemned the cartoons, but also cited the prophet’s « mercy, justice, tolerance » Another prominent sheikh called on Muslims not to overreact

From 2003 to 2007, militants linked to Al-Qaida carried out attacks in Saudi Arabia aimed at destabilizing the West-allied monarchy, including deadly bombings of residential complexes housing foreigners The Islamic State group also carried out attacks in the kingdom

Diplomatic publications have been targeted in the past 2004 armed assault on US Jiddah consulate accused of Al-Qaida killed five employees In 2016, a suicide bomber blew himself up near the same US Consulate, wounding two guards

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