(Adds second Islamic State statement, background)CAIRO, Nov 12 (Reuters) – Islamic State claimedresponsibility on Thursday for an attack on a non-Muslimcemetery in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah which woundedseveral people, although it did not provide any evidence to backup its claim.In a statement issued through its official channel onTelegram, the group said that its “soldiers” had managed to hidea homemade bomb in the cemetery on Wednesday that then explodedafter several “consuls of crusading countries” gathered there.The explosion, which occurred during a World War Oneremembrance ceremony involving foreign embassies, was the secondsecurity incident to take place in Jeddah in the last couple ofweeks, and the first attack with explosives in years to attemptto hit foreigners in the conservative kingdom. In a second statement, the Islamic State said they wereprimarily targeting the French consul general, who attended theceremony, over what it said was France’s insistence onpublishing cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad. France’s government has defended the right to publish thecartoons, which are considered blasphemous by Muslims.On Oct. 18, an Islamic State spokesman called on themilitant group’s supporters to target Westerners, oil pipelinesand economic infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. Earlier on Thursday, unidentified assailants sprayed theSaudi embassy in the Netherlands with gunfire before dawn. Noone was hurt in the incident. Late last month, a knife-wielding Saudi man was arrestedafter attacking and wounding a security guard at the Frenchconsulate in Jeddah. That incident followed the beheading near Paris of a Frenchteacher by a man of Chechen origin who had said he wanted topunish the teacher for showing pupils cartoons of the Prophetduring a civics lesson.French President Emmanuel Macron called the teacher, SamuelPaty, a hero, and he pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”,saying it was threatening to take over some Muslim communitiesin France.
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