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Mosque blast claim issued by IS

Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia, warning that more "black days" loom ahead in a direct challenge to the rulers of the Sunni kingdom.

Yesterday's attack was the kingdom's deadliest militant assault since a 2004 al-Qaida attack on foreign worker compounds which sparked a massive Saudi security force crackdown.

However, this IS attack in the village of al-Qudeeh in the eastern Qatif region targeted Shiites, whom ultra-conservatives in Saudi Arabia regularly denounce as heretics.

The mosque attack killed at least 21 people and wounded 81, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

A statement on the IS group's al-Bayan radio station, read aloud last night and posted this morning to militant websites associated with the extremists, identified the suicide bomber as a Saudi citizen with the nom de guerre Abu Amer al-Najdi.

The station also identified the attack as being carried out by a new IS branch in "Najd Province", referring to the historic region of the central Arabian Peninsula home to the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

IS - formerly al-Qaida's branch in Iraq which broke away and overran much of that country and neighboUring Syria - has become notorious for its attacks on Shiites, including a deadly Shiite mosque bombing in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, that killed more than 130 people.

It was blamed for the killing of eight Shiites in a mosque shooting in eastern Saudi Arabia in November.

The al-Bayan message warned Shiites of coming "black days that will hurt you," pledging to expel all Shiites from the Arabian Peninsula.

The attack comes as Saudi Arabia is part of a US-led coalition targeting the IS group.

In late April, Saudi officials arrested 93 people they said were involved in an IS plot to attack the US Embassy and other targets.


From Belfast Telegraph