Terrorist attacks struck Tunisia, France, and Kuwait on Friday, leaving a bloody toll in three countries and prompting new concerns about the rapidly spreading influence of jihadists.
In France, attackers rammed a vehicle into an American-owned industrial chemical plant near Lyon in southeastern France, triggering an explosion that injured two people. The attempt was unsuccessful to blow up the factory, but the attacker left behind a decapitated corpse.
The suspect, identified as Yassin Salhi, his wife, and sister are part of the four suspected accomplices arrested and in interrogation. 43 people were in the factory at the time of the attack. 13 employees are still in a state of shock.
The body of the victim, who was a 54-year-old man and the suspect’s employer, was found near the suspect’s vehicle, where a knife was also found. The severed head of the victim was found hooked onto a railing with two flags with Arabic inscription.
In Tunisia, three gunman disguised as vacationers opened fire at a 5-star beach resort, killing 37 and injuring 36 people. Security forces shot one attacker to death. One attacker was arrested and one escaped. The victims were tourists, mainly from UK and Central Europe, vacationing at The Riu Imperial Marhaba Hotel.
In Kuwait, at least 25 people were killed by an explosion at one of the largest Shiite mosques in Kuwait City during Friday prayers. More than 200 people were injured. ISIS claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing. The bomb filled the hall with smoke and left dead and wounded scattered on the carpet, according to witnesses and videos posted online.
There was no immediate indication that the attacks had been coordinated. But the three strikes came at roughly the same time, and just days after the Islamic State called for such attacks during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.