ISIS claims responsibility for Saudi mosque suicide attack

ISIS claims responsibility for suicide attack that killed 21 people during Friday prayers in Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack at a mosque in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province of Qatif, which killed 21 people, and injured over 50.

A suicide bomber detonated the explosives wrapped around his body in the middle of a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers.

Photos of the attack surfaced on Twitter and Facebook, showing the bloody floor of the mosque, the cracked walls and covered up dead bodies.

ISIS identified the bomber as Abu Amer al Najdi publishing one of his pictures and said he detonated an explosive belt in the attack

SITE, a US-based monitoring group tracking ISIS activities has released a report fully corroborating the group’s announcement.

"Security authorities will spare no effort in the pursuit of all those involved in this terrorist crime," a statement from the government released by the state run SPA news agency read.

It is the first attack targeting the Shiite Muslims in Saudi Arabia since November, when gunmen killed at least eight people in an attack on a religious anniversary celebration in Al Ahsa province.

The attack happened in Ali Ibn Abi Taleb mosque in Qadih village of Qatif province, home of the Saudi Shiite minority and the place of past demonstration demanding rights for Shiites in the country.

Shiites constitute 10 to 15 percent of Saudi Arabia’s population and mostly concentrated in Qatif and Al Ahsa provinces.

The attacks can further increase the tension between the Shiite community and the Saudis, who adhere to Wahhabi school of Sunni Islam.

Sectarian tension has been rising in the region since Saudi Arabia started conducting military operations against Shiite Houthi militias in Yemen to restore President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who had to flee the country after Houthis seized power earlier this year.

ISIS also claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing attack which took place during the Friday prayers at a mosque in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Friday.

TRTWorld and agencies