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Three injured in 'improvised explosive device attack' on Armistice ceremony in Jeddah

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It is the second attack targeting French interests in Jeddah, following a stabbing last month.
It is the second attack targeting French interests in Jeddah, following a stabbing last month.   -   Copyright  MOHAMMED AHMED / AFP - FILE
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At least three people have been injured in an "explosive attack" on the non-Muslim cemetery in the western Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah.

The incident took place on Wednesday morning during an international ceremony commemorating Armistice Day, attended by a number of western diplomats.

A joint statement by the embassies of France, Greece, Italy, the United States of America, and Great Britain says the cemetery was "the target of an improvised explosive device attack".

One UK national suffered minor injuries and a Greek policeman was wounded, according to the Greek Foreign Ministry.

Officials have described the attack as "cowardly" and have strongly condemned the incident.

"Such attacks on innocent people are shameful and entirely without justification."

"We wish those who were injured a prompt recovery, and thank the brave Saudi first responders who assisted those at the scene".

"We pledge our support to the Saudi authorities as they investigate this attack and prosecute its perpetrators."

Several countries are celebrating the 102nd anniversary of the armistice between Germany and the Allies, which marked the end of the First World War.

It is the second attack targeting French interests in Jeddah after a security guard was injured in a knife attack on the France Embassy last month.

A Saudi man was arrested by authorities, but his motives remain unclear.

Wednesday's explosion also comes against the backdrop of a series of recent jihadist attacks on France and Austria.

French President Emmanuel Macron had promised not to "renounce cartoons" of the prophet Mohammed at a national tribute to history teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by an Islamist near Paris on 16 October after teaching a class on freedom of expression.

In some Muslim-majority countries, worshippers reacted angrily to President Macron's remarks and launched a campaign to boycott French products.

France has urged its citizens in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim-majority countries to be on "maximum alert" amid the heightened tensions.