World

Suicide Bombing In Saudi Mosque For Security Forces Kills 15

| by Reuters

A suicide bomb attack on the mosque of a local security force headquarters in Abha city in south-west Saudi Arabia killed 15 people on Thursday, most of them members of the force, the Saudi interior ministry said.

The mosque in Abha, the capital of Asir province, was part of the local headquarters of the Special Emergency Force, the interior ministry security spokesman told state news agency SPA. The ministry earlier put the toll at 13, but later reported two of the wounded had died.

Of those killed, 12 were members of the force, while three were workers in the compound, according to the ministry.

Men were praying in the mosque when the bomber struck within their ranks. The debris of the blast appeared to show an explosive belt had been used, the spokesman said.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

In May, two suicide bomb attacks on Shi'ite mosques in Saudi Arabia were claimed by Islamic State. The first on a mosque in Qatif in the east of the kingdom killed 21 worshippers, and another four died in a bombing a week later at a mosque in Dammam.

Another bombing claimed by Islamic State on a Shi'ite mosque in Kuwait in June killed 27 people.

The militant group, bitterly opposed to Gulf Arab rulers, is trying to stir sectarian confrontation on the Arabian peninsula to bring about the overthrow of the states' ruling dynasties.

It has urged young Saudi Sunnis in the kingdom to attack targets including Shi'ites. There was no immediate indication of the sectarian affiliation of the mosque in Thursday's bombing.

(Reporting by Omar Fahmy; Additional reporting by Reem Shamseddine; editing by Ralph Boulton; editing by Ralph Boulton; Writing by Raissa Kasolowsky) / Photo credit: The Express Tribune via Naij.com