Saudi to strike re­li­gious ex­trem­ists with iron hand – King

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

The king of Saudi Ara­bia yes­ter­day warned that 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 the Eid el-Fitr, 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 U.S. diplo­mats, Shi’ite Mus­lim wor­ship­pers 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 U.N. hu­man rights chief yes­ter­day de­scribed the bomb­ing out­side the Prophet Mo­hammed’s Mosque in Me­d­ina as “an at­tack on Is­lam it­self” and many Mus­lims ex­pressed shock that their sec­ond-holi­est site had been tar­geted. No group has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity but Is­lamic State mil­i­tants have car­ried out sim­i­lar bomb­ings in the­lied, Sunni Mus­lim-ruled king­dom in the past year, tar­get­ing mi­nor­ity Shi’ites and Saudi se­cu­rity forces.

Zeid Ra’ad al-Hus­sein, the U.N. High Com­mis­sioner for Hu­man Rights and a mem­ber of the Jor­da­nian royal fam­ily, de­liv­ered his re­marks via a spokesman in Geneva.

“This is one of the holi­est sites in Is­lam, and for such an at­tack to take place there, dur­ing Ra­madan, can be con­sid­ered a di­rect at­tack on Mus­lims all across the world,” he said. “It is an at­tack on the re­li­gion it­self.” (Reuters)

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