At least 30 people were killed and 150 injured on Friday when suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia during Friday prayers, media reported. A huge explosion rocked at the Imam Ali mosque in the village in Saudi Arabia, BBC reported citing Saudi state news agency. We were doing the first part of the prayers when we heard the blast,” said Kamal Jaafar Hassan, a worshipper.” The blast has occurred as the Saudi lead a coalition of Arab states in an air campaign against Shia rebels in crisis hit neighbouring Yemen.
Shia Muslim minority in Saudi Arabia mainly reside in eastern province and there have been sporadic protests by Shia there for greater rights. This would be the first such attack on a Shia mosque there. Saudi Arabia has also been threatened by Islamic State (ISIS), which is being targeted by an international coalition including the Sunni kingdom.
A suicide bomber targeted a mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia as worshippers were commemorating the 7th century birth of a revered Shiite figure on Friday, an activist and witnesses in the area said.
Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry reported that an explosion struck a mosque in the eastern province of Qatif after Friday prayers, without providing further details.
Saudi Arabia’s large Shia Muslim minority is mainly based in the Eastern Province, and there have been sporadic protests by Shia there for greater rights.
The attack on Friday comes at a time when the Saudis are leading a coalition of Arab states in an air campaign against Shia rebels in neighbouring Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has also been threatened by the Islamic State (IS) group, which is being targeted by a US-led coalition including the Sunni kingdom.
In November last year, an audio recording purported to be from IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi called on Saudi followers to attack Shia targets.
More than 2,000 Saudis are believed to have joined IS, with hundreds having returned home. Saudi Arabia has launched a security crackdown in recent months, arresting hundreds of IS suspects.