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At least 21 killed in bombing in Saudi Arabia’s Qatif

22 May 2015 18:13

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At least 21 people have lost their lives and 97 others sustained injuries in a bomb explosion that ripped through a Shia muslims’ mosque in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.

The figures were announced by Saudi Health Minister Khalid al-Faleh on Friday following the attack, which took place at Imam Ali (PBUH) Mosque in the village of al-Qadeeh, located in the oil-rich kingdom’s Qatif district and more than 420 kilometers (260 miles) east of the capital, Riyadh.

A bomber reportedly blew himself up in the mosque as more than 150 people had gathered for Friday prayers.

The aftermath of a bombing attack against Imam Ali (PBUH) Mosque in the Qatif region in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, May 22, 2015

People react following a bomb attack against Imam Ali (PBUH) Mosque in the Qatif region in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, May 22, 2015.

First responders carry victims following a bombing attack against Imam Ali (PBUH) Mosque in the Qatif region in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, May 22, 2015.

“We were doing the first part of the prayers when we heard the blast,” Kamal Jaafar Hassan, one of the worshipers, said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, yet.

On November 3, 2014, masked gunmen stormed a group of Muslims participating in a ceremony marking the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH), in the village of al-Dalwah in al-Ahsa Governorate of Eastern Province, and opened fire as people were observing Ashura, the 10th day of the lunar month of Muharram.

Eastern Province has been the site of peaceful demonstrations, mostly in the districts of Qatif and Awamiyah, since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners. They want an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

Several demonstrators have been killed and dozens of activists have been arrested since the beginning of protests in the region.

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