KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait: Thousands of Sunnis and Shiites from across
the country took part in a mass funeral procession for 27 people
martyred in a suicide bombing that targeted the Imam Sadiq Mosque a
day earlier, at the Grand Mosque in Kuwait City, Kuwait, on Saturday.
An upstart local affiliate of the Islamic State group, calling itself
the Najd Province, claimed responsibility for the attack that was
carried out by a suicide bomber during midday Friday prayers inside
one of Kuwait’s oldest Shiite mosques.
Braving the hot summer temperatures, mourners from as far as
eastern Saudi Arabia and Bahrain attended the funeral and carried the
Kuwaiti flag; others carried a simple black flag to signify mourning.
Some in the crowd chanted, “Sunnis and Shiites are brothers!”
Every so often they chanted “Allahu Akbar,” which means “God is Great”
Women ululated to praise those who had been killed during prayer and
in the holy Muslim month of Ramadan — now in its second week —
claiming they died as martyrs. They threw rose petals at the bodies,
which were shrouded in the Kuwaiti flag.
A mother and her two young daughters passed out flower wreaths to
place on the graves. To help people keep cool, a young man was seen
misting people’s faces with water. Still, paramedics were on hand to
assist those who fainted from the heat as temperatures reached 107
degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius).
Not all those killed in the bombing were buried in Kuwait. Some were
sent to be buried in Najaf, Iraq at a Shiite holy site that is
believed to be blessed. Iran’s Foreign Ministry said three Iranians
were among the 27 people killed in the attack.
The suicide bombing has rattled Kuwait, known for its relative wealth
and stability. The last terrorist attack in Kuwait was more than two
The Health Ministry said Saturday out of more than 200 people wounded
in the attack, including many young boys, around 40 remain in the
hospital while the rest have been discharged.
Within hours of Friday’s attack, Kuwait’s ruler Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad
Al-Sabah, who is in his mid-80s, visited the site of the bombing. The
government also declared that the country’s main Sunni mosque, the
Grand Mosque, will be open to mourners to pay their respects for the
next three days.
Sunni groups in Kuwait and leaders from across the Middle East
strongly condemned the attack, which Gulf officials say was aimed at
provoking a backlash from Shiites and sparking sectarian war. More
than a third of Kuwait’s 1.2 million citizens are believed to be
Shiite. The majority of Kuwaitis are Sunni Muslims, though Shiite
Muslims hold seats in Kuwait’s elected parliament and Cabinet posts.
Police in Kuwait said they are interrogating a number of suspects with
possible links to the suicide bombing. The Interior Ministry said
police also arrested the owner of the car that was used by the bomber.
Despite a heavy police presence at the funeral, volunteers set up
their own check point at the gate of the cemetery to search men. The
funeral was attended by several politicians, including the country’s
parliament speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim.
“The unity of the people of our country is incredible,” he said at the
funeral. “If you look around you will see Sunnis and Shiites, Kuwaitis
and non-Kuwaitis, all present to give their condolences to the
families of the victims.”
Blast Day Pics: 26th June 2015