Kuwait mosque explosion: 'Isis' bombs Shia Muslims during Ramadan Friday prayers

Medics say at least 16 people have died and 179 wounded

Adam Withnall
Friday 26 June 2015 22:02 BST
A man speaks on the phone in the wake of the Kuwait mosque bombing
A man speaks on the phone in the wake of the Kuwait mosque bombing

Isis-affiliated militants have claimed responsibility for a deadly bomb attack on a Shia mosque during Friday prayers in Kuwait, just a couple of hours after an attack on a factory in the south of France.

At least 25 people died following the explosion at the al-Imam al-Sadiq mosque in al-Sawaber, with images posted to Twitter showing the extent of the devastation and what appeared to be a number of bodies lying among the rubble.

A group purportedly affiliated with Isis, calling itself the Najd Province, claimed responsibility for the attack, which injured 202 people according to the interior ministry, in Sawaber in the east of the Kuwaiti capital.

Kuwaiti paramedic Abdelrahman al-Yusef confirmed that the victims were mainly men and boys attending the mosque to pray.

In a statement posted via its affiliated social media accounts, Isis said it had carried out the attack which occurred at the height of Ramadan prayers when the mosque would have been at its busiest.

The statement identified the bomber as Abu Suleiman al-Muwahed and said the target was a "temple of the rejectionists" - a term used by Isis to refer to Shia Muslims.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Quilliam’s Charlie Winter suggested that Isis supporters on Twitter were “getting very animated” over the reports.

Khalil al-Salih, an MP who was at the Imam al-Sadeq Mosque when the attack occurred, said worshippers were kneeling in prayer when the bomber walked in and detonated his explosives, destroying walls and the ceiling.

“It was obvious from the suicide bomber’s body that he was young,” he said. “He walked into the prayer hall during sujood [kneeling in prayer]. He looked … in his 20s. I saw him with my own eyes.”

It was the third attack in five weeks to be claimed by the Najd Province. The group had claimed two previous bombing attacks on Shia mosques in Saudi Arabia that killed more than two dozen people in late May. Before that the group was seemingly unknown. The bombing on Friday was believed to be the first terror attack in Kuwait for decades.

There was shock among some Twitter users that the attack was carried out on Muslims praying on a Friday during the holy month of Ramadan.

There has not yet been a claim of responsibility in relation to the attack
There has not yet been a claim of responsibility in relation to the attack

Meanwhile in France, an attack believed to involve two men carrying black Islamist flags was launched on the Air Products factory near Lyon.

One man has been arrested, while the decapitated remains of a body have been founded. Several others have been reported injured.

And in Tunisia at least one gunman is reported to have been killed in an assault on a hotel in the Tunisian seaside town of Sousse.

The attack came three months after three Islamist gunmen shot dead dozens of people at the Bardo museum in the coutry’s capital Tunis.

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