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'Islamic State' calls for a Shiite-free Arabian Peninsula

A Saudi branch of "Islamic State" has urged the kingdom's youth to join its cause of clearing the region of Shiites. The Sunni militant group has carried out two attacks on Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia this month.

According to the US-based SITE monitoring group, an IS-affiliated group in Saudi Arabia has defended attacks on Shiite Muslims in a 13-minute long audio message, which it posted online late Friday.

The so-called Najd Province group said in the message that Shiites should be "killed everywhere."

The IS "has ordered its soldiers everywhere to kill the enemies of religion, especially the Rafidha (Shiites)," a group spokesman is heard saying in the audio.

"They are disbelievers and apostates, and their blood is permissible to be shed, and their money is permissible to be taken. It is a duty upon us to kill them … and even to purify the land from their faith," the message continued.

The Sunni militant group IS, which has taken over

vast swathes of territories in Syria and Iraq

, claimed responsibility for

two separate suicide bombings on Shiite mosques in eastern Saudi Arabia

on May 22 and May 29, which killed 25 people in total. The majority of the Sunni-dominated kingdom's Shiite population lives mostly in the eastern parts of the country.

While IS made a reference to the May 22 bombing in al Qadeeh village, there was no mention of the May 29 Dammam attack, which suggests the audio was recorded prior to the second bombing.

Riyadh condemned the attacks

and vowed to punish the perpetrators.

Urging the youth

The IS audio message called on young Saudis to join its ranks to fend off the "Shiite threat" and said that Saudi King Salman would not be able to protect them.

"The spark has been lit, so you must all ignite a fire with which you burn the faces of the Rafidha (Shiites) and apostates. You must all come to burn the thrones of the tyrants," the message said.

Earlier this month, IS leader Abu Bakar Baghdadi spoke against Saudi Arabia's ruling family, Al Saud, calling them "guard dogs" of the West.

shs/sms (Reuters, AFP)

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