The Slatest

ISIS Claims Another Deadly Bomb Attack Against Shiites in Saudi Arabia

Damaged cars at the site of an explosion outside a Shiite mosque in Dammam. (The cars appear to be covered in firefighting foam.)

Ali Alhaji/Reuters

A week after at least 21 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a Shiite mosque bombing on the east coast of Saudi Arabia that ISIS took credit for, the group claimed responsibility Friday for a similar attack in the same region that killed at least four. From Reuters:

The claim for Friday’s bombing, which was posted on a Facebook page used by the extremist group, said a “soldier of the caliphate” identified as Abu Jandal al-Jazrawi, blew himself up among “an evil gathering of those filth in front of one of their shrines in Dammam.”

ISIS is a Sunni group, and Shiites are already an exposed minority in Saudi Arabia, as Slate’s Joshua Keating wrote last week:

Shiites are largely excluded from positions in the authoritarian state’s political system and suffer what human rights groups call “systematic discrimination” in the education and justice systems. They also rarely receive permission to build their own mosques. Activists say the government also permits anti-Shiite hate speech from prominent religious figures while jailing Shiites who criticize it.

Friday’s attack apparently could have been much more deadly than it was; reports indicate that the individual carrying the bomb detonated it in the mosque’s parking lot, away from the congregation inside, after being approached by guards.

ISIS “acknowledges it is trying to stir sectarian confrontation as a way of hastening the overthrow of the ruling Al Saud family,” the Guardian writes.