Thousands of Kuwaitis attended the funerals Saturday for victims of a suicide attack on the Shiite-affiliated Al-Sadiq mosque.
A bomb ripped through the mosque during Friday prayers, killing 27 worshippers. It was the worst terror attack Kuwait has seen in many years.
ISIS, a Sunni Muslim extremist group, has claimed responsibility for the bombing at the mosque in the heart of Kuwait City.
Authorities have found the car the suicide bomber used to get to his target, but not necessarily the person who drove him there. The interior ministry said it has made a number of arrests and that the car’s owner was among those detained.
The discovery of the vehicle was announced on state TV, as well as the fact that its driver remains at large.
Beyond the manhunt looms the issue of preventing such attacks in the future and ensuring that ISIS, which is wreaking havoc in neighboring Iraq and also has claimed attacks in Saudi Arabia, doesn’t do the same in Kuwait.
Kuwaiti newspapers Saturday carried messages of unity in this emirate where Shias are one-third of the population.
“The huge turnout of mourners shows today, this society rejects all divisions and sectarian rifts,” said Speaker of the Parliament Marzouq Al-Ghanim. “The objective of the criminal terrorist act failed miserably since it sought to sow the seeds of division and sectarian strife,” he said.
Forensic’s teams continued to look for clues in and around the mosque Saturday amid heavy police presence. Shards of glass, bloodstained clothing and shoes were strewn all over from the powerful explosion, which police say blew out car windows in a nearby parking lot.
Cell phone video apparently shot in the bombing’s aftermath and posted to social media showed worshipers walking and stumbling through a dust- and rubble-filled interior of the mosque, many with their white robes splattered with what appeared to be blood.
In addition to the dozens dead, at least 227 others were wounded in the blast, official said. Most of them have left area hospitals. Three of the dead were Iranian citizens, according to state media.
Kuwait’s Emir, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, toured the damaged mosque ahead of emergency Cabinet and parliamentary meetings, the state-run Kuwait News Agency reported.
The country’s Justice and Islamic Affairs minister, Yaqoub Al-Sanea, called the attack “a terrorist and criminal act that threatens our security and targets our national unity,” the news agency said.
This was one of three devastating terror attacks Friday in three continents. In Tunisia, gunmen opened fire at a seaside hotel in Sousse and killed at least 38 people. And in southeastern France, a man previously on that country’s terrorism watch list caused an explosion at a factory that injured two people. Authorities later found a decapitated body in his van and a severed head nearby.