Suicide bombers hit Saudi mosque near Prophet Muhammad's grave
The attacker exploded in a parking lot just outside the mosque’s complex, and was reportedly targeting a team of security guards who were breaking their Ramadan fasts.
Bombers also struck in two other cities across Saudi Arabia in an apparently coordinated campaign of attacks.
The explosions targeting US diplomats, Shi’ite worshippers and a security headquarters at a mosque in the holy city of Medina follow days of mass killings claimed by the Islamic State group, in Turkey, Bangladesh and Iraq.
The attacks all seem to have been timed to coincide with the approach of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that celebrates the end of the fast.
A Saudi security official said an attacker parked a car near the US consulate in Jeddah before detonating the device.
The official said the government was checking the reports of blasts in Qatif and Medina.
Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television said an initial death toll from the Medina blast included three suicide bombers and two security forces officers.
A video sent to Reuters by a witness to the aftermath of the Medina bombing showed a large blaze among parked cars in the fading evening light, with a sound of sirens in the background.
A picture sent to Reuters showed a burnt and bleeding man lying on a stretcher in a hospital.
In Qatif, an eastern city that is home to many members of the Shi’ite minority, at least one and possibly two explosions struck near a Shi’ite mosque.
Witnesses described body parts, apparently of a suicide bomber, in the aftermath.
A resident of the city reached by telephone said there were believed to be no casualties there apart from the attacker, as worshippers had already gone home to break their fasts.
Civil defence forces were cleaning up the area and police were investigating, the resident said.
A video circulating on social media and purporting to show the aftermath of a Qatif blast showed an agitated crowd on a street, with a fire raging near a building, and a bloody body part lying on the ground. Reuters could not immediately verify the video.
Hours earlier a suicide bomber was killed and two people were wounded in a blast near the US consulate in the kingdom’s second city Jeddah.
The Jeddah blast was the first bombing in years to attempt to target foreigners in the kingdom. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Islamic State has carried out a series of bombing and shooting attacks in Saudi Arabia since mid-2014 that have killed scores of people, mostly members of the Shi’ite Muslim minority and security services.
Police and groups of local volunteers increased security near mosques in Qatif after suicide bombings hit mosques in Shi’ite areas last year, killing dozens.
Another suicide blast at a mosque used by security forces also killed 15 a year ago.