At least 27 people were were killed and more than 200 wounded in a suicide bombing targeting a Shi'ite Muslim mosque during midday prayers in Kuwait on Friday, the interior ministry said.
The militant group ISIS claimed responsibility for the Kuwait City attack, according to a statement posted on social media.
The bombing was one of three deadly attacks — one in France, another in Tunisia — that followed the Islamic State group's call for violence during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Authorities were trying to determined if the attacks were coordinated.
The Kuwait City explosion ripped through the back of the mosque, near the door, as worshippers stood shoulder-to-shoulder in group prayer, one of the witnesses, Hassan al-Haddad, told The Associated Press. He said that other worshippers behind him recounted seeing a man walk in, stand in the back with other congregants and detonate his device.
All the victims were men or boys, the interior ministry said, according to the AP.
It was the first terrorist attack in Kuwait in more than two decades.
Kuwaiti parliament member Khalil al-Salih told Reuters that the suicide bomber looked to be under 30 years of age. He recalled seeing several bodies covered in blood on the floor.
A posting on a Twitter account known to belong to the ISIS affiliate that calls itself the Najd Province, claimed the Kuwait City explosion was the work of a suicide bomber, the AP reported.
It was the third attack in five weeks to be claimed by Najd Province, named after the central region of Saudi Arabia, according to the AP.
The Islamic State extremists regard Shiite Muslims as heretics.
Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah said the attack was an attempt to threaten the country's national unity. However, he said defiantly, "this is too difficult for them and we are much stronger than that."
The attack came on the same day gunmen killed dozens of people on a Tunisian beach, and a man was found decapitated after an apparent terror attack on a gas plant in France.
The terror attacks follow a call on Tuesday from ISIS spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani to make the Muslim holy period of Ramadan a "month of disaster."