Riyadh : Saudi Arabia’s deputy interior minister survived an assassination attempt when a man wanted on terrorism charges blew himself up in the minister’s office, the official Saudi press Agency reported Friday.
Prince Mohammed bin Nayef was meeting well-wishers for the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jeddah Thursday when the man detonated an explosives belt, killing himself.
The suicide bomber had announced he was giving himself up and wanted to meet the prince, who is responsible for security in the Kingdom.
The prince suffered minor injuries to a hand, but no one else was seriously injured.
“This will only increase our determination to eradicate this (militancy),” Prince Mohammed said, during his meeting with King Abdullah, who went to check on the prince upon hearing the news.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia arrested 44 suspects believed to be part of Al Qaeda network in the kingdom who had sought to recruit young people and use charity donations to finance their activities.
In July, a special court in Riyadh convicted 330 people in what was the first known Saudi trial of suspects accused of plotting terrorist attacks on behalf of Al Qaeda.
Friday’s attack is the first known attempt against a member of the royal family since the anti-terror operation began in the kingdom eight years ago.