The Islamic State militants have claimed responsibility for Friday’s suicide attack in a Shia mosque in Saudi Arabia.
The IS posted its claim on Twitter along with the bomber’s photo by an account, widely believed to be a reliable source on the group.
A huge explosion at the Imam Ali mosque in the village of Al Qadeeh, Saudi Arabia’s eastern province had claimed at least 10 lives on Friday. Though the eye witnesses told a news agency the death toll could be higher. More than 150 people were praying inside the mosque when the suicide attack took place..
“We were doing the first part of the prayers when we heard the blast,” Kamal Jaafar Hassan, one worshiper, told news agency Reuters via phone from the scene.
This is the first time the IS has targeted Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia since November, when gunmen had killed at least eight people in an attack on a religious anniversary celebration, also in the east of the country.
A Saudi interior ministry spokesperson said that the bomber had detonated a suicide belt inside the mosque, causing a number of people to be “martyred or wounded”.
“Security authorities will spare no effort in the pursuit of all those involved in this terrorist crime,” the official said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.
IS has previously threatened to attack Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia.