The Saudi Interior Ministry said that four people had died in the attack, not including a suicide bomber who police said died in his blast, and 148 people were injured. Investigators sifted through charred cars and rubble from the gutted seven storey security building targeted in the latest suspected al-Qaeda suicide bombing to strike Saudi Arabia, as the Gulf country's top cleric condemned the terrorists responsible.
Saudi officials said the bombing bore the hallmarks of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network, which has also been blamed for suicide attacks in May and November 2003 in Riyadh that killed 51 people, including the assailants, according to theage.com.au
Saudi Arabia's top cleric said on Thursday the people behind a suicide car bombing in Riyadh would "burn in hell" for killing innocent Muslims in the attack, which a militant group linked to al Qaeda said it carried out.
The group said it was responsible for Wednesday's blast that destroyed a security force headquarters and it vowed to carry out more bombings against government symbols.
Witnesses and medics said 10 people, including two security men, were killed but the Saudi Interior Ministry put the death toll at four, with 148 wounded. Diplomats in the Saudi capital said they also had conflicting death figures.
Saudi authorities looked for evidence at the site of the destroyed compound, sifting through the rubble. There have been no reports of arrests since the bombings.
"God has promised wrath, damnation, painful torture and an eternity burning in hell for he who deliberately kills a Muslim... Unjustly killing a Muslim is the gravest crime which cannot be atoned," said the kingdom's highest religious authority, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh.
"I tell all Muslims that this act is a sin, it is one of the greatest sins," he said in a statement. "Aiding, calling for, or facilitating the murder of a Muslim is tantamount to involvement in murder and all who do so will be thrown by God into the flames of hell, for so dear is the sanctity of Muslim blood."
Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally and the birthplace of Islam, has been locked in a bitter conflict with militants linked to al Qaeda which has vowed to fight the United States and "ungodly" Saudi rulers it says are U.S. agents, report reuters.com
The Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Al Al-Sheikh affirmed Thursday that the blast which took place in Riyadh Wednesday was "forbidden and sinful act." He added "These people want to shake security, horrify the safe people and kill Muslims. It is forbidden to cover up such (sinful) people and whoever does so, he will be their partner in the crime." The Mufti added: "It is also forbidden to justify the acts of these criminals." "This country is holding together under its leadership and we all obey them," inform albawaba.com