Middle East

Kuwait to bury victims of IS mosque bombing

Kuwait is to hold a mass funeral on Saturday for 26 people killed in a suicide bombing at a Shi'ite mosque claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.
The interior ministry said in a statement early Saturday 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 Shi'ite cemetery, west of the capital, at 4:00 pm (1300 GMT).
It said that condolences would be accepted for three days starting on Saturday 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 Shi'ites to be heretics.
Shi'ites 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.
Shi'ite activist Abdulwahed Khalfan told AFP that security at Shi'ite 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 Shi'ite 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 organizations including the United Nations, the United States and others deplored the bombing.

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