Thousands mourn in Kuwait after mosque attack
Thousands of people took part in a mass funeral for 27 people killed in a suicide mosque attack
Thousands of people from across Kuwait took part in a mass funeral Saturday for 27 people killed in a suicide bombing that targeted a Shiite mosque a day earlier, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.
Participants at the funeral procession carried the Kuwaiti flag; others raised the black flag to signify mourning. Some in the crowd chanted, "Sunnis and Shiites are brothers!"
The news comes as Kuwaiti authorities announced they have arrested an owner of a vehicle that transported an Islamist suicide bomber, who carried the deadly attack, Al Arabiya said.
The authorities described him as a Kuwaiti and said they are still searching for the driver of the Japanese-made car, who left the mosque immediately after Friday’s bombing, Kuwait television and the official KUNA news agency reported.
Kuwait began interrogating suspects linked to the suicide attack on the Shiite mosque that claimed the lives of 27 people.
An ISIS statement posted on social media earlier on Saturday identified the bomber as Abu Suleiman al-Muwahed and said the target was a “temple of the rejectionists” - a term used by the Islamist militant group to refer to Shiite Muslims - and said dozens were killed or wounded.
The bomb was reportedly detonated as worshippers kneeled on the ground halfway through the weekly Friday prayers at the Imam Sadiq Mosque, according to Al Arabiya.
The GCC Secretary General Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani said the Kuwait attack was a “horrifying crime” and against “Islamic values.”
Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah said on Friday that a suicide bombing at a Shiite Muslim mosque in the
Friday’s attack is the first such bombing targeting Kuwaiti Shiites, who make up around one-third of the country’s native population of 1.3 million people.
“This incident targets our internal front, our national unity,” Sheikh Jaber told Reuters after visiting the wounded at the Emiri hospital. “But this is too difficult for them and we are much stronger than that.”
Soon after the blast, Kuwait’s Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited the scene.
A witness said the bombing happened when the mosque was packed with some 2,000 worshippers during Friday prayers.
“It is a suicide bombing,” a security official told AFP.
A spokeswoman for Iran's foreign ministry on Saturday said two Iranians who were residents of Kuwait “were martyred in the terrorist-suicide attack,” according to the official IRNA news agency.
Friday midday prayers are typically the most crowded of the week, and attendance increases during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, which started last week.
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