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Sunnis, Shias side by side unity prayers in Kuwait

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KUWAIT: Hundreds of Shia and Sunni Muslims gathered at Kuwait’s grand mosque on Friday and prayed for national unity and protection from any attempt to stir sectarian division.

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Shias and Sunnis prayed side by side in a mosque near the capital of Bahrain.

Tight security was in place for the special session of weekly prayers in a mosque at Diraz.

On June 26, a suicide attack on Shia mosque in Kuwait took 27 lives and about 200 injured.

A Sunni group claimed the responsibility of that attack.

A Shia member of parliament Adnan Abdulsamad told Reuters Islamic State were “fools” thinking they could destabilize Kuwait but the attack has made Kuwaitis more determined and united.

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He further said,  “This prayer is a prayer of unity. We have gained strength and tolerance after this attack. Thanks God who made our enemies fool. Those foolish were had in their minds that they can discord us by this way?”

Kuwait is an oil power and a supporter of US-backed efforts to fight Islamic State sharing intelligence and funding the use of airfields for a Western-Arab fighting the militants.

70 % of Kuwaitis are Sunni having good relations with 30 % Shia, but rivalry between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran has created some strians.

Sunni Imam Waleed al Ali while reciting a prayer for a congregation that included the emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmed al Sabah said, “Keep our nation safe and protect us from sectarianism”.

Kuwait has arrested 90 people in connection with the suicide bombing, and its parliament passed a law that authorities must have to keep record of all resident’s DNA.

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