ISIS Claims Deady Suicide Attack on Mosque in Saudi Arabia

People pray at at the Imam al-Khoei Foundation in New York, January 3, 2012. ((Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz))

Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia.

The bomb, which killed one and wounded several others, exploded yesterday inside the al-Mashhad mosque in the city of Najran in south Saudi Arabia as people left evening prayers.

The attack targeted "rejectionist Ismailis," said a statement from ISIS which was posted on Twitter, referring to a Shia sect who are a minority in the Sunni majority kingdom.

"As the Magreb prayer ended and the worshippers came out of the main door, a man entered the mosque and blew himself up," Mohammed al-Askar, a doctor from Najran told Reuters. He said that it was the first time a Shia Ismaili mosque had been targeted.

"Tonight in Najran the hospitals are crowded and people are coming from all over Najran to donate blood," said al-Askar.

"Unfortunately for Saudi I think the Islamic State is going to repeat such treacherous acts. It is a ploy to gain attention. But people are helping each other and they have trust in their government."

ISIS is strongly opposed to the Gulf Arab rulers and has urged young Saudi Sunnis to attack targets including Shias. It is stiring up sectarian violence on the Arabian peninsula in a bid to overthrow the ruling dynasties, many of whom have alliances with the west.

In mid-October, five people were killed after a gunman opened fire on a Shia Muslim meeting hall in the Eastern city of Saihat.

In August, a suicide bomber killed at least 15 people in an attack on a mosque used by members of a local security force in southwest Saudi Arabia, an assault that an online statement said was carried out by Islamic State.

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

This article was originally published by Christian Today.

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