IS sui­cide bomb­ing at Kuwait Shi­ite mosque kills 15

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY OMAR HASAN

A sui­cide bomber blew him­self up dur­ing Fri­day prayers at a Shi­ite mosque in the Kuwaiti cap­i­tal, killing at least 15 peo­ple, and in an un­prece­dented at­tack claimed by the Is­lamic State group.

“The ini­tial count for the ca­su­al­ties is that at least 13 dead, and 25 have been taken to hos­pi­tal,” a med­i­cal source told AFP ear­lier.

IS claimed what was the firstever bomb­ing of a Shi­ite mosque in Kuwait and the first terror at­tack in the Gulf state since Jan­uary 2006.

The IS-af­fil­i­ated group in Saudi Ara­bia, call­ing it­self Najd Province, said mil­i­tant Abu Suleiman al-Muwah­hid car­ried out the at­tack on the mosque, which it claimed was spread­ing Shi­ite teach­ings among Sunni Mus­lims.

IS, a rad­i­cal Sunni Mus­lim group, con­sid­ers Shi­ites to be heretics.

Najd Province claimed sim­i­lar bomb­ings at Shi­ite mosques in Saudi Ara­bia in re­cent weeks.

The blast hit Al-Imam al-Sadeq mosque in Kuwait City, the in­te­rior min­istry said in a brief state­ment with­out pro­vid­ing de­tails.

The of­fi­cial KUNA news agency con­firmed that there were “dead and wounded,” but also did not pro­vide de­tails.

A wit­ness told AFP “dozens were killed and wounded,” and pic­tures cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial media showed sev­eral blood­ied bod­ies in the mosque amid de­bris.

A se­cu­rity of­fi­cial said “it sui­cide bomb­ing.”

Wit­nesses gave a sim­i­lar ac­count, say­ing a sui­cide bomber en­tered the mosque dur­ing the weekly noon prayers.

An AFP pho­tog­ra­pher who ar­rived at the site af­ter the bomb­ing said the area was cor­doned off by po­lice.

Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah alAh­mad al-Sabah, im­me­di­ately vis­ited the site, and footage on staterun Kuwait Tele­vi­sion showed him vis­i­bly moved by the scenes of car­nage.

The tele­vi­sion showed footage of mas­sive de­struc­tion caused by the blast, and peo­ple posted online hor­rific pic­tures of the dead and wounded.

is a

The Kuwaiti cab­i­net went into an emer­gency meet­ing to dis­cuss the in­ci­dent, as the in­te­rior min­istry raised the level of alert and mo­bi­lized all se­cu­rity forces.

A num­ber of hos­pi­tals in the oil-rich emi­rate de­clared states of emer­gency to deal with the wounded, while the cen­tral blood bank ap­pealed for blood do­na­tions.

‘Low crim­i­nal at­tack’

Kuwaiti Shi­ites make up around one-third of the coun­try’s na­tive pop­u­la­tion of 1.3 mil­lion peo­ple.

The in­te­rior min­istry said it launched a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the in­ci­dent.

Three weeks ago, the min­istry said it has raised the level of se­cu­rity around mosques fol­low­ing the bomb­ings in neigh­bor­ing Saudi Ara­bia.

The bomb­ing was strongly con­demned by po­lit­i­cal groups, or­ga­ni­za­tions and law­mak­ers.

The main­stream Sunni group, the Is­lamic Con­sti­tu­tional Move­ment con­demned what it called “the low crim­i­nal at­tack tar­get­ing the (Shi­ite) mosque.”

Kuwait’s lead­ing Sunni cleric, Sheikh Ajeel al-Nashmi, said on Twit­ter that the bomb­ing is a “crim­i­nal act aimed at sow­ing seeds of dis­cord, and un­doubt­edly Shi­ites and Sun­nis will foil the ter­ror­ists’ plot.”

In­de­pen­dent MP Sultan al-Shem­mari called on the gov­ern­ment to “hit with an iron fist” against the “ter­ror­ists.”

AFP

Kuwaiti men re­act at the site of a sui­cide bomb­ing that tar­geted the Shi­ite Al-Imam al-Sadeq mosque dur­ing Fri­day prayers on Fri­day, June 26.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.