5 KILLED IN SAUDI SUNNI-SHIA TENSION
Five people have been killed, on Friday 10/16/2015, and nine wounded in an attack on a Shia gathering hall in in Saihat, Eastern Saudi Arabia, the interior ministry says.
The killings, in Saihat, come two days after the start of Ashura commemorations, a holy occasion for Shia Muslims. The Eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia have a large Shia minority and witness tensions between Sunnis and Shiites in the last decades . The interior ministry said a gunman opened fire at random before police intervened and shot the attacker dead.
Later, a group calling itself Islamic State (ISIS)-Bahrain State said that one of its “soldiers” had attacked “a Shia infidel temple” with an automatic weapon. The group warned that “infidels will not be safe in the island of Mohammed”.
Correspondents say the name of the group appears to be a reference to the historic area of Bahrain, which once encompassed parts of what is now Saudi Arabia.
The minority Shia community in the kingdom is increasingly being targeted. Most live in the oil-rich east, and many complain of discrimination. That attack was the first to be claimed by a Saudi branch of IS.
Also on the same friday 2 Iranians were killed l in a shooting attack on Shiite worshipers marking Ashura, the official IRNA news agency reported. Two people were also wounded in the attack in the town of Dezful in Khuzestan province, the news agency said.
In the Ashura commemorations, Shias mourn the death of Hussein, a venerated grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.
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