PARIS (AP) – French officials say multiple people were wounded on Wednesday when an explosive device hit a ceremony commemorating the end of World War I at a cemetery in the Saudi Arabian city of Jiddah.
The officials from the French Foreign Ministry said that several countries had representatives at the ceremony, held at a cemetery for non-Muslim dead. The identities of the victims were unclear and no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
Wednesday marks the 102nd anniversary of the armistice ending World War I and is commemorated in several European countries. The French officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
The attack follows on the heels of a stabbing Oct. 29 that slightly wounded a guard at the French Consulate in the Red Sea city of Jiddah. The stabbing was carried out by a Saudi man, who was arrested. His motives remain unclear.
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.
The French president’s support for caricatures as a cornerstone of free speech has riled some Muslims who view the depictions as incitement and a form of hate speech.
Saudi officials have not yet commented on Wednesday’s attack and Saudi state-run media have not reported on it. King Salman is also scheduled to deliver an annual address to the nation on Wednesday, laying out policy priorities for the coming year.
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