DUBAI: A Saudi man was arrested in the Red Sea city of Jeddah after attacking and wounding a security guard with a “sharp tool” at the French consulate on Thursday, local police said.
A statement from the Makkah region’s police said that the guard suffered “minor injuries” and that “legal action” was being taken against the perpetrator.
The French Embassy said that the consulate was subject to an “attack by [a] knife which targeted a guard”, adding the guard was taken to hospital and his life was not in danger.
“The French Embassy strongly condemns this attack against a diplomatic outpost which nothing could justify,” it said in a statement.
The attack occurred after a knife-wielding man beheaded a woman and killed two other people in the French city of Nice earlier in the day. Nice’s mayor described the attack as terrorism.
France is still reeling from the beheading earlier this month of a school teacher by a man of Chechen origin. The attacker had said that he wanted to punish the teacher for showing pupils blasphemous caricatures of the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) in a civics lesson.
Since Samuel Paty’s killing, French officials have reasserted the right to display the cartoons as a matter of free expression, and the caricatures have been widely displayed at marches in solidarity with the teacher.
That has stirred anger in parts of the Muslim world, with several governments accusing French President Emmanuel Macron of pursuing an anti-Islam agenda.
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday condemned cartoons but held back from echoing calls by other Muslim states for action against blasphemous images being shown in France.