Gunmen stormed two gathering in eastern Saudi Arabia on Friday, killing five civilians and wounding several others, in the second terrorist attack against worshippers in the Kingdom this year.
The interior ministry said that that one gunman attacked the al-Hamza mosque – named after Prophet Mohammad’s (PbUH) uncle – and the Haidari Husseiniyah – named after Imam Ali (AS) and Imam Hussein (AS) – in Sihat neighborhood east of Saudi Arabia, and that he was shot dead by police, a claim that was denied by witnesses.
“As (a) result of his shooting, five citizens… were killed, including a woman. Nine others were wounded,” an interior ministry spokesman said in a statement.
He said that at about 7:00 pm (1600 GMT) Friday a suspect with an automatic weapon “started to shoot randomly” at the Husseiniyah – a large hall used for Ashura commemorations.
Police were late to intervene and open fire, killing one of the terrorists and arresting two others.
“The situation is still under investigation,” he said.
The murders, in the Qatif area of Eastern Province, came two days after the start of commemorations of Ashura, one of the holiest occasions for the Shiite Muslims marking the holy martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS).
The attack was claimed by a group linked to the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group.
State television earlier reported that the killed gunman was 20 years old.
A group calling itself Islamic State-Bahrain State claimed the attack in a communiqué.
Hussein al-Nemr, a local resident, said the shooting was one of three incidents on Friday evening.
During Ashura last year, gunmen killed seven Shiite worshippers, including children, in the eastern town of Al-Dalwa.