Bloody Friday jolts Mideast

Updated 28 June 2015
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Bloody Friday jolts Mideast

JEDDAH/KUWAIT CITY: A suicide bomber from a Daesh affiliate unleashed the first terrorist attack in Kuwait in more than two decades, killing at least 25 people and wounding scores more in a bombing that targeted Shiite worshippers during Friday prayers. The bombing struck the Imam Sadiq Mosque in the residential neighborhood of Al-Sawabir in Kuwait City. It is one of the oldest Shiite mosques in Kuwait. It was the third attack in five weeks to be claimed by a group calling itself the Najd Province. Daesh had claimed two prior bombing attacks on Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia that killed 26 people in late May. The attack took place as worshippers were standing shoulder to shoulder in prayer, according to a witness at the mosque, Hassan Al-Haddad. The explosion ripped through the back of the mosque, near the door, he said, adding that other worshippers behind him said they saw a man walk in, stand in the back with others and detonate his device. The Ministry of Interior said 25 people were killed and 202 wounded. Police formed a cordon around the mosque’s complex immediately after the explosion. A posting on a Twitter account known to belong to Daesh claimed the explosion was the work of a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt. It said the attack was carried out by the Najd Province, which had also claimed the Saudi bombings. Immediately after the attack, Kuwait’s Emir, Shaikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, visited the site of the attack. The Cabinet convened an emergency session OIC Secretary-General Iyad Madani said that this terror strike could not be carried out by a Muslim. He said the terror group that committed this evil act has nothing to do with humanity or religion. "The perpetrators only insulted and distorted Islam." The Council of Senior Scholars denounced the unspeakable crime and said it is a continuation of attempts to hit the national unity and stability of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It stressed that those behind the ugly strike violated all human and religious values, and said its perpetrators have committed a great sin.


Erdogan calls for fight on Islamophobia as on anti-Semitism

Updated 21 min 46 sec ago
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Erdogan calls for fight on Islamophobia as on anti-Semitism

  • The Turkish leader believes the New Zealand attack was part of a wider assault on Islam
  • He demands the West do more against anti-Muslim sentiment

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday called for a global fight against rising Islamophobia like “anti-Semitism after the Holocaust” following the deadly attacks on two New Zealand mosques.
The Turkish leader has presented the mosque attacks by a self-avowed white supremacist who killed 50 people as part of a wider assault on Islam and demands the West do more against anti-Muslim sentiment.
“Just as humanity fought against anti-Semitism after the Holocaust disaster, it should fight against rising Islamophobia in the same determined fashion,” Erdogan told a meeting of ministers from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul.
“Right now we are facing Islamophobia and Muslim hatred,” he said.
Erdogan said far-right neo-nazi groups should be treated as terrorists in the same way as Daesh terrorists.
On 15 March, alleged shooter Brenton Tarrant killed 50 men, women and children — the victims aged between three and 77 years old — and left dozens injured in an attack that sparked global revulsion.
He livestreamed much of the attack and spread a manifesto on social media claiming it was a strike against Muslim “invaders.”
New Zealand’s government on Friday reassured Muslims living in the country they would be “safe and secure” despite the deadly attacks in Christchurch.
“Ensuring Muslim communities in New Zealand feel safe and secure is a particular focus,” New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters told the OIC meeting.
Peters said New Zealand authorities would make sure “no stone stays unturned” in the prosecution of the attacker.
“This person will face ... the New Zealand law and spend the rest of his life in isolation in a New Zealand prison,” he said.


Erdogan, campaigning for local elections this month, has angered New Zealand by repeatedly showing the video made by the alleged gunman, an Australian who was arrested.
He has also angered Australia with comments about anti-Muslim Australians being sent back in “coffins” like their grandfathers at Gallipoli, a WWI battle.
On Friday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu praised New Zealand authorities and their “sincere solidarity messages.”
“We are here to show we are one body against Islamophobic actions across the world,” he said.
The Muslim call to prayer rang out across New Zealand on Friday followed by two minutes of silence nationwide to mark a week since the attack.
Thousands of people — including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern — stood silently in a park opposite the mosque where the killing began.