Several people have been wounded in an explosion that hit a ceremony commemorating the end of World War I at a cemetery in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. The foreign ministry of France said several countries had representatives at the commemoration attended by European diplomats, Aljazeera reported.
The ministry said, “The annual ceremony commemorating the end of World War I at the non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah, attended by several consulates, including that of France, was the target of an IED [improvised explosive device] attack this morning, which injured several people,” the ministry said.
“France strongly condemns this cowardly, unjustifiable attack.” The explosion was confirmed by an official from Greece who declined to be named.
“There was some sort of a blast at the non-Muslim cemetery in Jeddah. There are four slightly injured, among them one Greek,” the official said, without providing further details.
France has urged its citizens in the kingdom to be “on maximum alert” amid heightened tensions after an assailant decapitated a French middle school teacher who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in class.
Saudi officials have not released any statement on the attack and the Saudi state-run media did not report it. The blast comes as French President Emmanuel Macron attended a WWI memorial ceremony in Paris. Macron has been the target of criticism by Muslims following his defense of comments and images some claim to disparage Islam. He has also been accused of Islamophobia.