The Imam Ali mosque in al-Qadeeh, Qatif, Saudi Arabia used by the Shia community was the target of an alleged suicide bomber today during Friday prayers.
According to Reuters news agency 150 people were believed to be praying at the time and up to 30 casualties.
The majority of Muslims in Saudi Arabia are Sunni with Shia populations concentrated in Qatif and al-Hasa. Most Shia belong to the Twelver branch (Imamiyyah), the term refers to a belief in 12 divinely ordained Imams. Shia have raised concerns regarding their treatment in the Kingdom. On 8th April 2015, Orlando Crowcroft writing for IBT stated,
“In March 2011, thousands of Shia took to the streets in Qatif, Saudi Arabia, to protest decades of discrimination and religious and political repression, beginning an uprising that was met with a violent crackdown, a wave of arrests and cases of police firing on unarmed protesters.
Since then, 27 have been killed and more than 250 imprisoned, according to local Shia leaders and human rights activists in the towns and cities of eastern Saudi Arabia, who fear rising sectarianism fuelled by Riyadh’s war against Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen.”
“See Saudi Arabia’s Shia and Riyadh’s other war”
A series of graphic photos and videos circulated on Twitter showing the alleged devastation at the mosque as follows:-
The following video posted on YouTube is alleged to show the aftermath of the bombing, Saudi Shia on the streets…
There have been no claims of responsibility to far for the attack in Qatif.
Yemen: Attack on mosque in Sanaa
Another mosque attack was also reported in Sanaa, Yemen (image Reuters)
Yuri Bamin, a Russian analyst with an interest in the Gulf region tweeted,
Another bomb goes off, this time in a Shia mosque in Sana Yemen 13 injured. IS (Islamic State) claims responsibility
Charlie Winter of the Quilliam Foundation also tweeted,
YEMEN in wake of unclaimed Saudi Shi’i mosque bombing, IS claims other attack on Shi’i mosque in Sanaa
The notice released was similar to that sent to journalists following an attack on a bus carrying Ishmaili, a sub sect of Shia in Karachi see link,
“Pakistan: Islamic State allege responsibility for deadly bus attack on Ishmaili”
“Pakistan: Deadly bus attack in Karachi targets Ishmaili community, dozens killed and wounded”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.