Thousands at funeral for 27 killed in Kuwait
Terrorist attack at mosque is condemned throughout Arab world
kuwait city — Thousands of people in Kuwait took part in a funeral procession Saturday for 27 people killed in an attack on a Shiite mosque in the capital a day earlier.
An upstart local affiliate of the Islamic State, calling itself the Najd Province, claimed responsibility for the attack that was carried out by a suicide bomber during midday Friday prayers inside one of Kuwait’s oldest Shiite mosques, which was packed for Ramadan holy month services. The Islamic State views Shiites as heretics and refers to them as “rejectionists,” among other slurs.
The attack, though, has been condemned across the Arab world.
Braving 107-degree heat, mourners from as far as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain attended the funeral. Some in the crowd chanted, “Sunnis and Shiites are brothers!” Others proclaimed those killed as martyrs.
Not all of those who died in the bombing were to be buried in Kuwait. Iran’s Foreign Ministry said that three Iranians were among the 27 people killed in the attack.
The Kuwaiti Health Ministry said Saturday that out of more than 200 people wounded in the attack, about 40 remain hospitalized.
Police in Kuwait said they are interrogating a number of suspects with possible links to the suicide bombing. The Interior Ministry said that police arrested the owner of the car that was used by the bomber.
The bombing has rattled Kuwait, known for its relative wealth and stability. The last terrorist attack in Kuwait was more than two decades ago. On Friday, Kuwait’s ruler, Emir Sabah Ahmed al-Sabah, who is in his mid-80s, visited the Shiite mosque. The Sunni Grand Mosque also will be open to mourners to pay their respects for the next three days.
The funeral Saturday was attended by several politicians, including the country’s parliament speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim. “The unity of the people of our country is incredible,” he said at the funeral. “If you look around, you will see Sunnis and Shiites, Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis, all present to give their condolences to the families of the victims.”