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Security forces foil terror plot in Mecca

SECURITY FORCES FOIL TERROR PLOT IN MECCA

A terror plot that targeted the Grand Mosque in Mecca was foiled Friday, according to interior ministry spokesman Mansour al-Turki.

A suspect blew up himself after a gun battle with security forces during the anti-terrorist operation in Mecca's Ecyad Al-Masafi neighborhood, a statement said.

A three-story building collapsed in the explosion that slightly injured five police officers and six foreign nationals who were taken to the hospital..

Five suspected terrorists, including one woman, were arrested.

Security forces raided two cell houses in Ecyad Al-Masafi and the Useyle neighborhood in Jeddah to prevent terrorist attacks, the statement said.

The investigation in Ecyad Al-Masafi and the work to identify the attacker continue, the statement added.

"These attacks, which are planned by some external forces with the aim to destroy the security and stability of the holy land, have been prevented with the will of God without reaching its goal," the statement said.

"The Interior Ministry will continue to work diligently to ensure security and stability," the statement added.

Qatar condemned the attack plans and supported Saudi Arabia in a written statement by the that country's foreign ministry.

It said that the actions that could target the holy lands were an open attack on the respectability of places sacred to Islam and provoked the feelings of millions of Muslims.

Notwithstanding the political strain on its relationship with Saudi Arabia, Qatar said it would side with Saudi Arabia in all measures the kingdom would take to protect sacred places.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states severed ties with Qatar citing Doha's support for terrorism-a charge the Qatari government denies.

TURKEY CONDEMNS ATTACK
Turkey denounced the attack, saying in a Foreign Ministry statement, "We strongly condemn the attempted terrorist attack on the Masjid al-Haram, one of the most sacred places for the Islamic world."

"We are pleased that this treacherous attempt has been prevented and congratulate the Saudi security forces," the statement said.

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