The man used a “sharp tool” to wound the guard, Reuters reported, citing state media. The guard was expected to survive. No motive for the attack was immediately given.
A statement published by the French Embassy in Riyadh mirrored the details of the news agency’s account, saying that the diplomatic mission condemned the “unjustified” attack.
“We appeal to our compatriots in Saudi Arabia to be on maximum alert,” the embassy said.
The French Consulate is located about 10 miles south of the U.S. Consulate.
The attack in the Red Sea port city comes as France is under alert for Islamic extremist acts after an 18-year-old man of Chechen origin beheaded a French middle school teacher who showed caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a civics lesson on free speech.
Those caricatures were published by Charlie Hebdo and cited by the men who gunned down the newspaper’s editorial meeting in 2015.
Meanwhile, authorities in France on Thursday said an attacker armed with a knife killed three people at a church in the city of Nice. One of the victims, a woman, at the city’s Notre Dame Basilica, was reportedly beheaded.
It wasn’t immediately clear if that attack or the one in Jiddah involved the current controversy, which has seen protests across the Muslim world.
A third incident on Thursday saw French police kill a man in southern France after he threatened a passerby with a handgun, Reuters reported, citing police. The man had reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, said it was briefly tracking reports of a potential attack by “missiles or drones.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.