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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Saudi Arabia: Mosque bombing left at least 21 people dead

Bombed Shia mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia
(Image: Muslim News)
A massive explosion hit the Shia Ali Ibn Abi Taleb Mosque, located in one of the villages of the Saudi Arabia eastern province of Gatif (Al-Qadeeh), left at least 21 people killed and more than 90 people wounded, according to Saudi Health Ministry.

The attack occurred during the Friday noon prayers, when the mosque was packed with the praying people. An explosion hit the mosque almost at the beginning of the prayer, said the eye witnesses. The terrorist attack was carried out by a young suicide bomber, who was wearing the explosives laden belt under his clothes and detonated the bomb while being inside of the mosque.

More than 150 people were inside the mosque at the moment of the explosion. Many of the wounded people received serious injuries are being treated at the local hospitals.

Terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL), actively operating in some provinces of Iraq and Syria, has claimed responsibility for this attack, targeting Shia Muslim minority of Saudi Arabia, which is predominantly Sunni Muslim country.

The Friday bombing appeared to be one of the deadliest terrorist attacks and assaults that hit Saudi Arabia in years, where some sectarian tensions were reported in eastern provinces due to Saudi Arabia led military operation against Shia Houthi militants in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia Ministry of Interior described an attack as a terrible act of terrorism and declared that the state will make everything possible to prevent new terrorist attacks in the kingdom and in thye region.

It’s worth mentioning also that Saudi officials claimed that terrorist attacks and assaults were expected to happen in some oil facilities or shopping malls, and that extraordinary security measures are taken in order to ensure security in Saudi cities.

Egypt’s government and President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi sent their deep condolences to the families and friends of those who died in an attack and strongly condemned this terrorist act. Egypt’s highest religious authority, Al-Azhar, joined the official statement of Egyptian government. “Egypt stands in solidarity with Saudi government and people in order to face and fight brutal terrorism” in the region, according to the official statement. Egypt is an ally of Saudi Arabia in its military operation launched in the neighboring Yemen since April this year.

Iran and its government have also condemned an attack against Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia and emphasized an importance of a unified fight against terrorism in the region.

Lebanon based Shia Hezbollah group has also extended its condolences over the recent bombing and strongly condemned an attack, though the group claims that Saudi government is fully responsible for this attack due to its military operation against Shia Houthis in Yemen and oppression of Shia. Saudi government was also accused of supporting some Sunni extremist groups in the region, such as Al-Qaeda or ISIS, though Saudi government always denied these allegations.