Unidentified gunmen have attacked a gathering of Shia Muslims and killed five mourners commemorating Ashura, the tenth day of the lunar month of Muharram that marks the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (PBUH).
The deadly assault was carried out in al-Ahsa, the largest governorate in Saudi Arabia’s restive Eastern Province, leaving more than 30 mourners wounded.
The incident followed a wave of attacks against Shia Muslims in the neighboring Iraq.
On Sunday, multiple bomb explosions killed at least 34 Shia pilgrims in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
Iraqi officials usually blame similar terrorist attacks on Takfiri militants. Baghdad has also pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia, saying Riyadh is funding terrorists operating in Iraq.
Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and 72 of his loyal companions, were martyred in the battle of Karbala against the second Umayyad caliph, Yazid I, in 680 A.D. Imam Hussein was killed after he refused to pledge allegiance to the tyrant ruler.
Mourning services have been in place worldwide since the beginning of Muharram.
The annual Muharram ceremonies, which have been performed for many centuries, symbolize the eternal and unwavering stance of truth against falsehood and humanity’s struggle against injustice, tyranny, and oppression, the cause for which Imam Hussein (PBUH), the third Shia Imam, was martyred.