Daesh claims mosque attack in Kuwait, 25 dead

Daesh claims mosque attack in Kuwait, 25 dead

The bomb struck the Imam Sadiq Mosque in a busy area of Kuwait City’s Al Sawabir district.

By (AFP)

Published: Sat 27 Jun 2015, 2:02 AM

Last updated: Wed 8 Jul 2015, 3:07 PM

Kuwait city — A suicide bomber struck a mosque in the Kuwaiti capital during Friday prayers, killing at least 25 people and wounding many in an unprecedented attack claimed by Daesh.

The blast came on a day when at least 27 people were killed in a mass shooting at a Tunisian holiday resort and a factory in eastern France was attacked with the attacker hanging a severed head from the gates.

Kuwait’s interior ministry said in a statement cited by the official KUNA news agency that hundreds were wounded in the mosque explosion.

“Twenty-five people have been martyred and 202 other wounded as a result of the blast at Al Imam Al Sadeq Mosque,” said the interior ministry statement.

The wounded were admitted to five public hospitals and were visited by Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al Sabah.

Daesh claimed Friday’s assault, the first bombing of a Shia mosque in Kuwait and the first terror attack in the Gulf state since January 2006.

The Daesh-affiliated group in Saudi Arabia, calling itself Najd Province, said militant Abu Suleiman Al Muwahhid bombed the mosque which it claimed was spreading Shia teachings among Muslims.

The Najd Province group has claimed similar bombings at mosques in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.

Pictures circulating on social media showed several bloodied bodies and debris at the mosque in the capital Kuwait City.

A security official said “it is a 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.

The emir, Shaikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah, immediately visited the site, and footage on state-run Kuwait Television showed him visibly moved by the scenes of carnage.

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

Kuwait’s cabinet went into emergency session as the interior ministry raised the alert level and mobilised all security forces.

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

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

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

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

Friday’s attack was strongly condemned by political groups, organisations and lawmakers.

Parliament speaker Marzouk AlGhanem described the attack as “black terror”, adding that the unity of Kuwaitis would foil any plot.

Two mainstream groups, the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM) and the Islamic Salaf Alliance, denounced the attack.

The ICM, political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, decried the bombing as a “low criminal attack targeting the mosque”.

“The Islamic Salaf Alliance strongly deplores this heinous crime which is carried out only by traitors,” the second group said in a statement.

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

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

Over the past few weeks, Kuwaiti courts have tried a number of people on charges of belonging to Daesh and sentenced at least one to several years in jail. 

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