Islamic State (ISIS) asserts responsibility for Shiite mosque blast in Saudi Arabia

According to Washington Post; the Islamic State (ISIS) said Friday that it was behind a blast that killed or wounded scores of worshipers at a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia, marking the first time the militant group has claimed an attack in the oil-rich kingdom and raising fears of an expanding sectarian conflict in the region.

There was no immediate comment from Saudi authorities on the Islamic State’s assertion of responsibility, which was carried in written and audio statements distributed by accounts linked with the Islamic State on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia’s Shiites: Key Facts To Know About The Religious Minority Targeted In Mosque Suicide Attack

International Business Times – Shiite Muslim worshipers in eastern Saudi Arabia were the target of a suicide bombing Friday, the second deadly attack in six months against the kingdom’s religious minority sect. It was not immediately clear how many people were killed in the bombing, but media reports suggest that as many as 20 have been confirmed dead, with as many as 50 wounded. The attack came as worshipers were gathering to commemorate the seventh-century birth of the revered Shiite figure Imam Hussein against the backdrop of increasing public scrutiny of Shiite practices in the conservative Sunni kingdom.

Shiites make up approximately 15 percent of the kingdom’s population of nearly 29 million. The minority group is primarily concentrated in the country’s oil-rich Eastern Province, which includes some Shiite-majority districts, including Qatif, where Friday’s bombing took place. In November, eight Shiite worshipers were killed in a shooting in the Eastern Province village of al Ahsa, an attack that was attributed to the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS.