Kuwait tightens security as emir attends joint prayers
Kuwait deployed unprecedented security measures around Shi'ite mosques for Friday prayers following last week`s deadly bombing, as the emir attended rare Shi'ite-Sunni joint ceremony in a show of unity.
Kuwait City: Kuwait deployed unprecedented security measures around Shi'ite mosques for Friday prayers following last week`s deadly bombing, as the emir attended rare Shi'ite-Sunni joint ceremony in a show of unity.
Shi'ite mosques in Kuwait City were completely cordoned off and roads leading to them were closed to traffic as security men and volunteers stood guard, an AFP reporter said.
A Saudi suicide bomber from the Islamic State group blew himself in a Shi'ite mosque last Friday killing 26 people and wounding 227 others in the worst bombing in the history of Kuwait.
Shiites make up a round a third of Kuwait`s 1.3 million native citizens.
Thousands of Shiite and Sunni worshippers held a rare joint prayer at Kuwait`s Grand Mosque, the largest place of worship for Sunnis in the oil-rich Gulf state.
The Kuwaiti ruler, Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, attended the noon prayers along with the crown prince, parliament speaker and several cabinet ministers and lawmakers.
Armoured vehicles, elite forces and policemen stood guard outside the Grand Mosque.
All roads leading to the mosque were off limits to vehicles and worshippers were thoroughly searched before they were allowed inside.
Prayer leader Sheikh Waleed al-Ali, a Sunni, called for national unity and urged Muslims to abandon extremist ideology.
"Extremism has led to this bloodshed," Sheikh Ali said during the sermon.
Kuwait, declaring itself in a state of war against "terrorism", has placed all security forces and the police on high alert.
A large number of suspects have been arrested while five of them were sent to the public prosecution.
Parliament on Wednesday approved a USD 400 million emergency funding for spending required by the Interior Ministry.
IS`s Saudi affiliate, the Najd Province, claimed the bombing and identified the assailant as Abu Suleiman al-Muwahhid.
Kuwaiti authorities have named him as Fahd Suleiman Abdulmohsen al-Qabaa and said he was a Saudi born in 1992.
Gulf interior ministers agreed at the end of a meeting in Kuwait early Friday to boost cooperation to fight "terrorism".