Kuwait City: Kuwait is to hold a mass funeral today for 26 people killed in a suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.
The interior ministry said in a statement early today that 26 people and the bomber were killed and 227 others wounded in one of the country’s worst bombings and its first ever on a mosque.
The attack targeted Al-Imam Al-Sadeq mosque in the capital Kuwait City during Friday noon prayers.
The mosque authorities said in a statement that “Kuwait martyrs” will be laid to rest at the Shiite cemetery, west of the capital, at 4:00 pm (1300 GMT).
It said that condolences would be accepted for three days starting today at the Grand Mosque, the largest place of worship for Sunni Muslims, in a show of solidarity.
Kuwait’s emir, the government, parliament and political groups and clerics have said the attack was aimed at stirring sectarian strife in the emirate.
Sunni religious and political groups were quick to condemn the attack carried out by the Islamic State, a radical Sunni group which considers Shiites to be heretics.
Shiites form a third of Kuwait’s 1.3 million native population.
The interior ministry has said an unspecified number of suspects were held for questioning in connection with the attack that shocked the small oil-rich Gulf state. No details were provided.
The cabinet announced after an emergency meeting Friday that all security agencies and police had been placed on alert to confront what it called “black terror”.
It also declared Saturday a day of mourning.
Shiite activist Abdulwahed Khalfan told Agencies that security at Shiite mosques was beefed up and citizens’ committees have been formed.
The IS-affiliated group in Saudi Arabia, calling itself Najd Province, said militant Abu Suleiman al-Muwahhid bombed the mosque, which it claimed was spreading Shiite teachings among Sunni Muslims.
The emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who immediately visited the site of the bombing, said that the “criminal attack is a desperate and evil attempt targeting Kuwait’s national unity”.
Several countries and organisations including the United Nations, the United States and others deplored the bombing.
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