Saudis hold mass funeral for victims of Shiite mosque attack
Thousands of people have taken part in a mass funeral for the four victims of a recent attack on a Shiite mosque. (Twitter)
Thousands of people have taken part in a mass funeral for the victims of a recent attack on a Shiite mosque in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province.
Mourners gathered in Saihat municipality, near the city of Dammam, the capital of Eastern Province, on Wednesday for the burial of four men killed in the extremist attack in the city.
Mohammed al-Arbash, his brother Abdul Jalil, Mohammed Eisa and Abdul Hadi al-Hashim were killed in a bomb attack outside the Al-Anoud mosque during Friday prayers in Dammam on May 29. The men have been hailed as heroes as they reportedly tried to prevent the attacker from entering the mosque.
Fears were high of a similar attack on the Shiite mourners as hundreds of volunteers were guarding the surrounding areas in a bid to protect people attending the Wednesday event.
“We are anxious something will happen in future but we are taking care,” volunteer Ibrahim Abu Ahmed told reporters inside the mosque.
Other volunteers were searching people while cranes were busy placing heavy concrete barriers around the mosque.
“This is a house of God. We should protect it,” said another volunteer, who refused to be identified, adding, “Now all Shias [form] one line to protect ourselves from terrorism.”
“We strongly expect that there will be other attacks,” said Radi Turaiki before the funeral ceremony, adding, however, that the bombing has not discouraged people from turning out “more than any year” to attend their religious ceremonies marking the birthday of Imam Mahdi.
The 45-year-old teacher said that the Saudi government has adopted almost no measures to protect the people attending the religious gatherings and the Wednesday funeral.
More than a week ago, tens of thousands held a similar funeral for victims of another mosque bombing in Qudaih village of the Qatif region on May 22, where 21 people died.
Daesh (ISIS), which controls parts of Syria and Iraq, has claimed responsibility for both attacks on Shiite mosques in Eastern Province.
This story has been edited from the source material.
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