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Top Saudi Clerics Urge Calm After Shi’ite Mosque Attack

Saudi Arabia's highest-ranking Sunni cleric has branded a deadly attack on Shi'ite Muslims a “criminal act” aimed at "driving a wedge among the sons of the nation."

“God be praised, it will not find a way,” Grand Mufti Abdel-Aziz al-Sheikh told state television on May 23. “The nation and society are united and under a wise leadership."

Sheikh Mohammed Obeidan, a top local Shi'ite cleric, told worshippers, “Mass prayer in a calm, orderly way with self-restraint is the right way to respond to this corrupt force and hateful darkness."

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the village of Al-Qadeeh late on May 22, hours after a suicide bomber killed at least 21 worshippers in a packed Shi'ite mosque.

Demonstrators said security forces had left their communities unprotected.

The Islamic State extremist group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters