Friday, June 26, 2015
Attacks on hotel in Sousse and Shi'íte mosque in Kuwait
The scene after the blast in the Imam al-Sadeq mosque in Kuwait City (Photo Kuwaitna/AP)
At least 27 people, including foreign tourists, were killed when at least one gunman opened fire on a Tunisian beachside hotel in the popular resort of Sousse on Friday, an interior ministry spokesman said.
Police were still clearing the area around the Imperial Marhaba hotel and the body of one gunman lay at the scene with a Kalashnikov assault rifle after he was shot in an exchange of gunfire, a security source at the scene said.
It was the second major attack in the North African country this year, and took place during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
"One attacker opened fire with a Kalashnikov on tourists and Tunisians on the beach of the hotel," said a hotel worker at the site. "It was just one attacker. He was a young guy dressed in shorts like he was a tourist himself."
Tunisia has been on high alert since March, when Islamist militant gunmen attacked the Bardo museum in Tunis, killing a group of foreign tourists in one of the worst attacks in a decade in the North African country.
A suicide bomber blew himself up in a packed Shi'ite Muslim mosque in Kuwait city during Friday prayers, killing more than ten people, the governor of Kuwait City and a witness said.
The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on social media and said it had targeted a "temple of the rejectionists" -- a term it generally uses to refer to Shi'ites, whom it regards as heretics.
It was the first suicide bombing attack on a Shi'ite mosque in the small Gulf Arab oil exporting state, where Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims live side by side with little apparent friction.
Islamic State had urged its followers on Tuesday to step up attacks during the Ramadan fasting month against Christians, Shi'ites and Sunni Muslims fighting with a U.S.-led coalition against the ultra-hardline jihadist group.