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Saudi Arabia: Terror plot targeting Mecca Grand Mosque and pilgrims foiled

Saudi security forces foiled a terror plot targeting the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, exchanging gunfire with one of the suspects who blew himself up inside a home on Friday, Saudi Arabia's interior ministry informed.

Five people, including a woman, were arrested in security operations in Mecca, the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news website said, citing interior ministry security spokesman Mansour al-Turki.

Five security force members and six other people were injured, the report said.

Turki said police "foiled the terrorist plan that targeted the security of the Grand Mosque, pilgrims and worshippers'.

In dawn raids on Mecca and the Red Sea city of Jeddah officers arrested suspects before surrounding the bomber's location close to the Grand Mosque.

"Unfortunately he started shooting towards security personnel once he noticed their presence in the area, which led to an exchange of fire before he blew himself up," Turki said.

The blast partially collapsed the building where he was hiding, injuring six pilgrims, Turki said.

He added that four had already been released from hospital, and five security men were also slightly hurt.