A pro-Iranian Shia Muslim group Sunday threatened to punish Saudi Arabia for the deaths of Iranian pilgrims in Mecca, authenticating its warning with a photo of U.S. hostage Terry A. Anderson.
Islamic Jihad (Islamic Holy War) issued a statement on Friday's riots in the Saudi Arabian holy city, which the Saudi government said left 402 dead, 275 of them Iranians.
"We consider the house of Saud has come into direct confrontation with the Muslims and will not escape this massacre without punishment," said the typewritten Arabic statement delivered to a Western news agency.
It was accompanied by a black-and-white photo of Anderson, 39, chief Middle East correspondent of the Associated Press, who was kidnaped March 16, 1985.
The statement did not mention Anderson, the longest held among 25 foreigners missing and believed kidnaped in Lebanon.
Echoing Iranian accounts of the fighting, the statement called the clash in Mecca "a premeditated massacre . . . masterminded by the great Satan, America."
"The house of Saud has proven its blind obedience to its American masters by polishing the Grand Mosque of Mecca with the blood of honorable Muslims opposed to the United States and Israel," it said, in a reference to the Saudi ruling family.
In the city of Baalbek in eastern Lebanon, about 4,000 demonstrators from the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, or Party of God, marched to protest the Mecca uprising, waving placards reading "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."
They also carried a caricature of President Reagan riding a donkey bearing the face of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.
In another development in Lebanon, unidentified gunmen Sunday killed Mohammed Shkeir, a close Muslim adviser to President Amin Gemayel, police said.
They said the gunmen entered Shkeir's house in Muslim West Beirut under the pretext of delivering flowers and shot him to death.
Shkeir, in his mid-50s, had acted as a mediator between the Christian president and Muslim politicians.