Saudi police said the Jeddah attacker was a Saudi citizen, but did not give the nationality of the guard, who they said suffered minor injuries.
Police in Mecca province, where Jeddah is located, said the attacker was Saudi, but did not give the nationality of the guard, who they said suffered minor injuries.
The French Embassy in Riyadh strongly condemned the attack and urged its nationals in Saudi Arabia to exercise “extreme vigilance”.
Neither the Saudi authorities nor the French embassy gave any indication of the motivation for the attack.
The assault came after a suspect in France, also armed with a knife, killed at least three people and injured several others at a church in the French city of Nice on Thursday morning, French officials said, in an incident that the city’s mayor described as an act of “terrorism”.
Mayor Christian Estrosi said on Twitter that the attacker was arrested, adding that one of the victims was killed in a “horrific”, “like the teacher” manner – an apparent reference to the recent attack on the French teacher Samuel Paty, beheaded in broad daylight.
The exact motives for the attacks in France and Saudi Arabia remain unclear, but both incidents come against a backdrop of growing anger in the Middle East over French President Emmanuel Macron’s willingness to ‘reform’ Islam and as he has sworn. not to “abandon the cartoons” representing the prophet Muhammad, which triggered a growing boycott of French products in the Arab world.
The cartoons, which are deeply offensive to Muslims, are part of a renewed debate over free speech after Paty’s murder.
Muslims around the world celebrate the Prophet’s birthday on Thursday.