GENEVA/DUBAI - The king of Saudi Arabia warned his country would strike with an "iron hand" against people who preyed on youth vulnerable to religious extremism, a day after suicide bombers struck three cities in an apparently coordinated campaign of attacks.
In a speech marking Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that celebrates the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, King Salman said a major challenge facing Saudi Arabia was preserving hope for youth who faced the risk of radicalization.
"We will strike with an iron hand those who target the minds and thoughts... of our dear youth," Salman, 80, said.
Four security officers were killed in Monday's attacks that targeted US diplomats, Shi'ite Muslim worshipers and a security headquarters at a mosque in the holy city of Medina. The attacks all seem to have been timed to coincide with the approach of the Islamic Eid holiday.
The UN human rights chief on Tuesday described the bombing outside the Prophet Mohamed's Mosque in Medina as "an attack on Islam itself" and many Muslims expressed shock that their second-holiest site had been targeted.