His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah condemned on Friday the blast that took place at the Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque in the Al-Sawaber area in downtown Kuwait City, killing 27 and injuring scores of worshippers. His Highness said that the perpetrators of this criminal act did not take into consideration that it was being committed in the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. The blast was meant to tear asunder the fabric of the well-knitted Kuwaiti society by fomenting sectarian divisions and conflicts, His Highness said, but that would not happen as Kuwaitis value their unity and societal solidarity.
His Highness emphasized that security authorities were investigating the incident thoroughly and would eventually catch the criminals behind the blast and bring them to justice. His Highness took this opportunity to extend his condolences to families of the dead and injured, wishing speedy recovery for the injured victims of this heinous act of terror.
Earlier, His Highness the Amir inspected Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque in downtown Al- Sawaber area shortly following the blast. His Highness the Amir witnessed the aftermath of the blast that hit the mosque. An Islamic State suicide bomber struck a Shiite mosque in the Kuwaiti capital during Friday prayers, killing 27 with terrorism.
Health Minister Ali Al- Obaidi told the state-run Kuwait Television the number of dead had risen to 27 in addition to 222 wounded in the first ever suicide attack on Shiite mosques in the country. The toll in the attack, carried out in the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, is one of the largest in Kuwait’s history.
The cabinet announced after an emergency meeting that all security agencies and police have been placed on alert to confront what it called “black terror”. “The cabinet stresses that it will take whatever measures necessary to root out this scourge, and declares a relentless all-out confrontation with these terrorists,” said a statement after the meeting.
It also declared Saturday a day of mourning. 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. According to some websites, the suicide bomber’s name is Khaled N.J.S., born in Kuwait, on June 27, 1989, however, the websites did not specify his nationality, as some information suggests he is a Bedoun, while others suggest he is a GCC national.
The Najd Province group has claimed similar bombings at Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia in recent weeks. After the attack, a security official said “it is a suicide bombing”, and witnesses said a suicide bomber entered the mosque during weekly noon prayers.
The mosque’s senior cleric, Abdullah al-Mazeedi, told KUNA news agency the bombing targeted the rear rows of altogether. He said the blast damaged the interior and caused several chandeliers to fall. A number of hospitals declared states of emergency to deal with the wounded, and the central blood bank appealed for donations. Kuwaiti Shiites make up around one third of the country’s native population of 1.3 million. The interior ministry said it has launched a full investigation into the incident. Local media reported that security authorities have rounded up an unspecified number of suspects, but this could not be confirmed. Three weeks ago, the ministry said it had boosted security around mosques following the bombings in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Friday’s attack was widely condemned. Parliament speaker Marzouk al- Ghanem also called the attack “black ter-ror”, adding that the unity of Kuwaitis would foil any plot.
The two mainstream Sunni groups, the Islamic Constitutional Movement (ICM) and the Islamic Salaf Alliance, denounced the attack. The ICM, political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, decried the bombing as a “low criminal attack targeting the mosque”. A statement from the second group said: “The Islamic Salaf Alliance strongly deplores this heinous crime which is carried out only by traitors.” Kuwait’s leading Sunni cleric, Sheikh Ajeel al-Nashmi, said on Twitter that the bombing was a “criminal act aimed at sowing seeds of discord, and undoubtedly Shiites and Sunnis will foil the terrorists’ plot”. Independent MP Sultan al-Shemmari called on the government to “hit the terrorists with an iron fist”. Over the past few weeks, Kuwaiti courts have tried a number of people on charges of belonging to IS and sentenced at least one to several years in jail. Several countries and organisations deplored the bombing. The White House condemned “heinous attacks” in France, Kuwait and Tunisia, expressing solidarity and vowing to “fight the scourge of terrorism”.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said that “terrorist gangs are a threat to all, and countries in the region and the world must seriously contribute to fighting them”. Iran said “terrorist” attacks are the main threat to regional security and stability. The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), to which Kuwait belongs, called the attack an attempt to undermine national unity and the stability of its members. There was also condemnation from Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Russia and Spain among others.
Meanwhile, His Highness the Amir received Friday a telephone call from Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa. During the call, King Hamad condemned the blast at Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque in Kuwait city that killed 25 people and injured 202 others during the afternoon Friday Prayers. King Hamad affirmed the solidarity of Bahrain and its people with the State of Kuwait and Kuwaitis in this incident. King Hamad expressed condolences to relatives of the victims of this “criminal” act, praying to Allah to bless the souls of victims with mercy in Paradise. He wished the injured speedy recovery.
The Amir also received Friday a telephone call from Egyptian President Abdelfatah el-Sisi during which the latter condemned the blast at Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque in Kuwait city that killed several people and injured others during the afternoon Friday Prayers. Al-Sisi affirmed Egypt’s support to Kuwait in this incident, expressing condolences to the families of victims of this “criminal” act. The Egyptian leader wished speedy recovery to the injured. According to a statement by Ministry of Interior, at least 25 people were killed and 202 others wounded in the blast. Bahrain’s Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa condemned the “terrorist” attack against Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque in downtown Kuwait city Friday, killing and wounded scores of people.
Prince Khalifa made the remarks during a phone call with His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al- Hamad Al-Sabah, during which the senior Bahraini official “strongly condemns this terrorist act which reflect a deviated and extremist belief.” Prince Khalifa, who extended condolences for families of the victims, said attacks against mosques was a failed attempt to incite sedition and division among people of the nation.
He said he was fully confident the State of Kuwait would emerge stronger against all plots against its security and safety of its people. Prince Khalifa underlined Bahrain’s support of all measures to be taken by Kuwait to protect its security and stability. His Highness the Prime Minister thanked Prince Khalifa for his gesture which reflected solid relations between Kuwait and Bahrain.