Suicide Bomber Strikes Saudi Shi'ite Mosque

Bombing during Friday prayers leaves several dead and dozens wounded, targeting Shi'ite mosque in Sunni-majority state.

Ari Yashar ,

Bombing site (illustration)
Bombing site (illustration)

A suicide bomber detonated during Friday prayers in a Shi'ite mosque located in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia, murdering 22 people and wounding dozens of others.

The attack occurred at the Imam Ali mosque in al-Qadeeh village, located in the Qatif governorate where the Sunni-majority country's Shi'ite minority largely resides.

A witness told the paper he saw a massive blast and put the casualties at roughly 30 people. Over 150 people were said to be praying at the mosque during the attack.

According to eyewitnesses speaking to Middle East Eye, at least five people died in the attack and 20 others were wounded, with other reports putting the number of the dead higher between 15 and 20.

It remains unclear what group was behind the bombing.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of Arab states opposing the Houthis, an Iran-backed Shi'ite militia, in their conquest of neighboring Yemen.

The coalition has been conducting airstrikes to check the advance of the Houthis.

The Houthis' conquest in Yemen is part of a wider array of moves by Shi'ite Iran to obtain a regional hegemony via terror proxies, and clearly demonstrates the Shi'ite and Sunni tensions fueling many regional conflicts.