Islamic State affiliate claims Saudi police station bombing

AP News
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Posted: Apr 03, 2016 3:23 PM

CAIRO (AP) — An Islamic State affiliate in Saudi Arabia claimed on Sunday that its militants detonated two explosive devices in front of a police station in the city of al-Dalam, setting fire to three police vehicles.

Also Sunday, Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Mansour al-Turki said a person was killed by an improvised explosive device near the police station in al-Dalam. The statement, carried by the Saudi Press Agency, said police are investigating the incident, which took place on Saturday, but gave no further details on the victim's nationality, who was referred to as a resident.

The statement issued by the IS affiliate Najd Province made no reference to that deadly attack, only saying Sunday its bombing took place a day earlier. It gave no further details.

Some Saudi news websites published images of the aftermath late Saturday night, showing police jeeps and SUVs on fire outside the police station in al-Dalam, located 62 miles (100 kilometers) southeast of the capital Riyadh.

No deaths or injuries were reported. Local police spokesman Fawaz al-Mayman, quoted by the Almowaten website, said the incident is still under investigation and that police would issue a statement soon.

There have been several attacks in Saudi Arabia over the past year carried out by local Islamic State group affiliates. The Najd Province affiliate is the kingdom's most active. It claimed responsibility for two major bombings in eastern Saudi Arabia and one in Kuwait that killed 53 people at Shiite mosques last May and June. Najd Province is the traditional name for the central heartland of the peninsula and the homeland of the ruling Al Saud family.

Another IS-inspired group, calling itself the Hijaz Province affiliate, said it was behind a mosque bombing inside a police compound that killed 15 people in August. The Bahrain Province affiliate claimed responsibility for a shooting in eastern Saudi Arabia that killed five worshippers in October.

A similar attack in late January outside a Shiite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia killed four people, though no group claimed responsibility. Last month, Saudi police killed six men they said were wanted for the murder of a counter-terrorism security officer, whose death was filmed and posted online by the suspects who declared their allegiance to the IS group.

Saudi Arabia is part of the U.S.-led coalition bombing the IS group in Iraq and Syria. IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has called Saudi Arabia's Western-allied rulers "apostates" and has encouraged attacks against the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

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Associated Press writer Aya Batrawy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates contributed to this report.