GCC pledges unity to wipe out Daesh
Officer killed, Daesh flag seized in Saudi raid.
Kuwait city — Interior ministers of the Gulf states on Friday vowed to take a united stand against a string of deadly bombings targeting Shia mosques claimed by Daesh.
Holding an emergency meeting in Kuwait, the scene of the latest suicide attack that killed 26 people last Friday, the ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states stressed the attacks are a threat to the stability of the region.
Around 50 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in suicide attacks on three Shia mosques in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during the past two months, all claimed by Daesh.
The ministers “underscored the importance of coordination and cooperation in all measures and steps in confronting this serious epidemic... which is a threat to the security and stability of the GCC states,” said a statement issued after the night meeting.
The statement called the attacks “criminal acts not linked with Islam and its values, which renounce violence and the killing of innocents.”
“Terrorist attacks that targeted places of worship aimed at sowing dissent, promoting divisions, undermining security and terrorising and killing innocent people,” the statement said.
Lt. General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, led the UAE delegation to the extraordinary meeting.
Saudi Crown Prince and Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and Qatar’s Prime Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani were among GCC ministers present at the meeting. The officials expressed sympathy with Kuwait, which suffered the worst attack in its history last week with a suicide bombing that left 26 people dead and 227 others wounded.
Meanwhile, a Saudi police officer was shot dead on Friday during a raid in which three people were arrested and flags of the Daesh group were found, the interior ministry said.
The ministry said security officers came under fire as they searched for a suspect at a home in Taif at 4.30am. A sergeant died “as a result of the exchange of fire”, said a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. “They arrested three suspects, confiscated Daesh flags, silencers and personal laptops,” the ministry added.
Meanwhile, Kuwait has moved to ward off sectarian tensions following the mosque attack. Sunni and Shia religious and political figures presented a united front.
The Amir of Kuwait, His Highness Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, visited Al Sadeq mosque only minutes after the attack. He also ordered that the victims be considered martyrs for the nation, in a response that was well-received by Shias.
“They (the militants) wanted to stir a conflict between the two sects but found there is only one religion... and a united people,” parliament speaker Marzouk Al Ghanem said at a reception for relatives of the victims.
“The Kuwaiti people gave yet another example of national unity. We became united as we were during the Iraqi invasion” in 1990, the senior cleric at the targeted mosque, Sheikh Abdullah Al Mazeedi, said at the same reception. Shia MP Yousef Al Zalzalah said in parliament: “The Kuwaiti people have sent a clear message to terrorists that you will never divide this society.”
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