Saudi police say attacks thwarted in mostly Shiite east

Saudi Shia worshipers are frisked by members of security as they make their way to a hussainiya a Shia hall used for commemorations in Qatif

In a telephone conversation on Tuesday, the sources said Saudi security patrols had tracked a group of people in the district of Al-Mustafa in the Qatif village of Um Al-Hamam, after residents had informed security apparatuses that a group of strangers had been frequently seen in the area.

Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday the foiling of a fresh attack on a busy restaurant in the predominantly Shiite Eastern Province, Al Arabiya local news reported.

The interior ministry said on Wednesday that a Saudi citizen and a Syrian man seized at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Dammam in August with explosives on them had planned to bomb a restaurant on the island of Tarot. Yesterday's attempted attack - the latest targeting the kingdom's minority Shiites - happened around sunset prayers, the ministry said in a statement.

Officers found four kilograms (8.8 pounds) of explosives in his bag.

Police found a Pakistani residency card on the man, the statement said.

In July, Saudi Arabia identified a Pakistani man as being behind a suicide bombing outside the U.S. Consulate in the western city of Jeddah.

Since late 2014 IS has claimed a series of bombings and shootings targeting Shiites in the Sunni-majority kingdom, as well as the security forces.

Near Islam's second holiest site, the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, four people died in another suicide blast. Police later arrested 12 Pakistanis and seven Saudis in connection with that attack and two others that took place in Qatif and Madina.



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