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Saudis Say Suicide Terror Attack Foiled Near Grand Mosque

Mecca, or the Grand Mosque

The authorities in Saudi Arabia say police have foiled a "terrorist action" against Islam's holiest site, with a suicide bomber blowing himself up near the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca.

The Saudi Interior Ministry on June 23 said the suicide bomber was preparing to carry out an attack on the mosque, where millions of faithful from around the world traditionally gather for the conclusion of the holy Ramadan fasting month.

The ministry said the man blew himself up when security forces surrounded a house in which he was hiding.

It said 11 people were injured after the three story-building collapsed after the explosion, five of them police officers.

In a statement read on state-owned Al-Arabiya television, the ministry said five other militants, including one woman, had been detained.

A year ago near the end of Ramadan, four people died in the Saudi city of Medina in an explosion close to Islam's second holiest site, the Prophet's Mosque. The CIA said that blast appeared to have been carried out by the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP