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Islamic state militants claim responsibility for bombing at mosque in Saudi Arabia

23 May 2015

Islamic State militants yesterday claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing at a Shiite Muslim mosque in Saudi Arabia, the first instance of the Sunni Muslim claiming it carried out an attack in the country.

The involvement of the group, if it turned out to be true would add a volatile new element to the sectarian strife in the region, where a fledgling Saudi leadership was already embroiled in an air war in neighboring Yemen.

The bomb which went off at Shiite Muslim mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia during Friday prayers, reportedly killed at least 19 people and injured dozens.

Though Saudi authorities denounced the attack as an act of terrorism , they did not make any immediate comment on the claim of the Islamic State.

According to commentators, in what could be seen as a potential regional coordination among local franchises of Islamic State, the group also claimed responsibility for an explosion yesterday, outside a Shiite mosque in Yemen's capital, Sana.

Though none was killed, at least 18 people were injured, of which some were in critical condition.

Islamic State had earlier called on Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia to carry out attacks against Shiites, and the group had also been blamed by Saudi authorities for previous bloodshed, including a deadly strike against Shiites late last year.

Meanwhile, Houthi rocket attacks launched from inside Yemen had killed two people in southern Saudi Arabia over the last 24 hours, SPA reported yesterday.

A child was killed and three other children were wounded yesterday in Al-Tawal region, according to a Civil Defense official in Jazan quoted by the SPA.

A rocket attack Thursday, killed one citizen and wounded two others in Al-Hosn village.

Saudi Apaches and armed divisions responded with the launch of an attack on the source of the rocket fire. Saudi artillery also continued their strikes on Houthi targets inside Yemen.

Meanwhile, weapons depots in Sanaa came under heavy from the Saudi-led coalition against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

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