A suicide bomber attacked a Shiite mosque in the Kuwaiti capital during the main weekly prayers Friday, killing and wounding dozens, officials and witnesses said. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State.
The blast hit Al-Imam al-Sadeq mosque in Kuwait City, security officials and witnesses said. Medics said at least 13 people were killed in the blast.
Mohammed al-Faili, 32, told The Associated Press that his 70-year-old father was killed in what appeared to be a bombing attack. Two of his brothers were also wounded by the explosion. Speaking to the AP by telephone, he said he was not at the mosque at the time of the explosion but was heading to the morgue to identify his father’s body.
Police formed a cordon around the mosque’s complex immediately after the explosion, banning people from entering or gathering near the area. Ambulances could be seen ferrying the wounded from the site.
A witness told AFP “dozens were killed and wounded,” and pictures circulating on social media showed several bloodied bodies in the mosque amid debris.
AFP could not immediately obtain a toll from official sources.
Friday’s attack is the first such bombing targeting Kuwaiti Shiites, who make up around one-third of the country’s native population of 1.3 million people. IS is a radical Sunni Muslim group and considers Shiites to be heretics.
Friday midday prayers are typically the most crowded of the week, and attendance increases during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, which started last week.