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2 injured in blast near U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

By Shawn Price
2 injured in blast near U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
A suspected suicide bomber set off a blast near the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia early Monday morning. Two guards were injured in the blast, which came on 4th of July and one of the last days of Ramadan. Photo Dmitry Kaminsky/Shutterstock

JEDDA, Saudi Arabia, July 4 (UPI) -- A suspected suicide bomber set off a blast Monday morning near the U.S. consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the interior ministry said.

The attack came just before morning prayers and the start of the daily Ramadan fast. Two security officers sustained minor injuries. There were no other reported injuries, officials said.

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The bomber "blew himself up with a suicide belt inside the hospital parking," as the guards approached him, the statement said.

In 2004, nine people died in a previous attack on the Jeddah consulate.

The U.S. State Department confirmed "all personnel under chief of mission authority are accounted for at this time."

The attack comes on the U.S. Independence Day holiday, and also near the end of the holy month of Ramadan, in which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.

The U.S. embassy in Saudi Arabia issued a warning after the attack, urging Americans to "remain aware of their surroundings, and take extra precautions when travelling throughout the country."

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