DAY OF ATROCITIES - KUWAIT

More than 20 killed in mosque bombing

Medics and security officials inside the Al-Imam Al-Sadiq mosque in Kuwait City where a suicide bomb blast occurred yesterday.
Medics and security officials inside the Al-Imam Al-Sadiq mosque in Kuwait City where a suicide bomb blast occurred yesterday.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

KUWAIT CITY - Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah said yesterday that a suicide bombing at a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in the capital which killed at least 25 people was an attempt to threaten national unity.

"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."

Information Minister Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah vowed at the scene of the attack to crack down "on all terrorists". The entire region is being "targeted", he said.

Kuwaiti television showed footage of the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, visiting the damaged Al-Imam Al-Sadiq mosque in the eastern Sawaber district.

The group claiming responsibility for yesterday's deadly suicide bombing was also behind similar attacks on Shi'ite mosques in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.

Last month, the Najd Province group, affiliated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, said it was responsible for two deadly bombings at Shi'ite mosques in Saudi Arabia, both of which took place during the weekly Friday prayers.

It has also claimed several such attacks against Shi'ites in Yemen, the last of which was just a week ago. On June 17, it claimed responsibility for five simultaneous bombings at Shi'ite mosques and offices in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, that killed at least 31 people and wounded dozens.

Yesterday's strike was the first of its kind in oil-rich Kuwait and the first to target Kuwaiti Shi'ites, who make up around one-third of the country's native population of 1.3 million people.

Shi'ites gathered outside the site of the blast called on the government to stand with them and shouted that it was time to wage war against "extremism" in the country, which has generally been peaceful.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2015, with the headline 'More than 20 killed in mosque bombing'. Print Edition | Subscribe