A mass funeral procession for the victims of a mosque attack in Kuwait saw thousands of people turn out to take part in the event. The suicide bombing at the mosque killed 27 people and injured hundreds more. According to one of the witnesses, the explosion ripped through the back of the mosque, near the door, as the worshippers stood together in group prayer. The mosque that was targeted was attended by Shi’ite Muslims.
After the bombing, an affiliate of the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. Islamic State named the bomber as Abu Suleiman al-Muwahed, but did not provide details on his nationality. Police have arrested the owner of the car used by the bomber, who detonated his device inside the Imam Sadiq Mosque in Kuwait City during midday Friday prayers. The police say that they are interrogating multiple suspects with possible links to the suicide bombing, but the exact number of suspects being questioned has not been released.
Sunnis and Shi’ites from across the country took part in the procession and prayer in a show of unity. Some waved Kuwaiti flags, while others bore large mourning banners at the burial site in the Sulaibikhat district. Some in the crowd chanted: “Sunnis and Shi’ites are brothers!” Others chanted “Down with Daesh! Down with Daesh”, an acronym for Islamic State. Roughly a third of Kuwait’s 1.2 million citizens are Shi’ite, while the majority of Kuwaitis are Sunni Muslims.
The mass funeral for the slain was partially planned by the government. Relatives of those killed wept and prayed over their shrouded corpses at a mosque where the bodies awaited burial. The bombing was the first terrorist attack in Kuwait in more than two decades. Sunni groups in Kuwait and leaders from across the Middle East have strongly condemned the attack. Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, issued a statement extending his condolences to the families of the victims.