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Kuwait conducts mass funeral as police question suspects

Kuwait City: Thousands of people in Kuwait took part in a mass funeral procession today for 27 people killed in a suicide bombing that targeted a Shiite mosque a day earlier.

Police in Kuwait said they are interrogating a number of suspects with possible links to the suicide bombing, which was claimed by an affiliate of the Islamic State group.

An Interior Ministry statement today said police arrested the owner of the car that was used by the bomber to drive to the Imam Sadiq Mosque in Kuwait City, where he detonated his device inside among the worshippers. Police did not say how many suspects are being interrogated.

The bombing, which also wounded more than 200 male worshippers who were taking part in midday Friday prayers, was the first terrorist attack in Kuwait in more than two decades.

The government helped plan the mass funeral for those killed. Thousands of Sunnis and Shiites from across the country took part in the procession and prayer at Kuwait’s Grand Mosque. Many carried the Kuwaiti flag; others a simple black flag to signify mourning. Some in the crowd chanted, “Sunnis and Shiites are brothers!”

Sunni groups in Kuwait and leaders from across the Middle East have strongly condemned the attack, which Gulf officials say is aimed at provoking a backlash from Shiites and sparking sectarian war. More than a third of Kuwait’s 1.2 million citizens are believed to be Shiite. The majority of Kuwaitis are Sunni Muslims.

Kuwait’s Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hamad Al-Sabah was quoted in the official Kuwait News Agency describing the bombing as “grotesque” and vowing to “cut the evil hand” that tampers with the country’s security.

The news agency also carried a statement from Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, extending his condolences to the families of the victims.

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