First Published: 2005-01-11

 
Kuwait hunts for suspected Al-Qaeda militants
 

Interior minister orders crackdown on militants after deadly gunfight with security forces in Kuwait City.

 

Middle East Online

By Omar Hasan - KUWAIT CITY

The militants are said to be Kuwaiti nationals

Kuwait was hunting Tuesday for up to three suspected Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist militants after a deadly gunfight with security forces that triggered a new US terror warning.

The emirate has also ordered a crackdown on militants after two Kuwaiti security officers and a suspect were killed in the shootout Monday when security forces moved in on a Kuwait City suburb to make an arrest.

"Security forces are looking for two to three suspects" who fled after the gunfight, a security official said.

"They are known to us and we will find them soon. They are suspected of being linked to Al-Qaeda terror network."

Neighbouring Saudi Arabia is also battling Al-Qaeda-linked militants behind a wave of violence since May 2003 that has left more than 100 people dead.

The US embassy in Kuwait, a key US ally in the region, issued a new warning to Americans Tuesday that armed "terrorists" were at large in the emirate and that US citizens should exercise caution.

"At least one suspected terrorist, known to be armed and dangerous, remains at large. The two terrorists involved in the shooting may have been part of a larger group," said a message from the embassy, the second alert in as many days.

The mission had warned its citizens Monday that assailants were driving around Kuwait planning to "randomly attack Westerners."

After the shootout, Kuwaiti Interior Minister Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah Monday night held an emergency meeting with his top security aides and ordered a crackdown on militants.

He said the dead suspect and those who fled were Kuwaiti nationals.

The minister however refused to link the militants with Al-Qaeda, preferring to wait until investigations were completed.

The gunfight erupted when intelligence men from the emirate's secret service, which deals with political and security matters, came to arrest the suspect, Fawaz Talaiq al-Oteibi.

Oteibi fired at police and fled to where a number of suspected militants were waiting in a car. The militants shot and killed two intelligence men and wounded two others. Oteibi later died in hospital.

US forces and civilians in Kuwait have been the target of a number of attacks, two of them fatal.

Around 25,000 US soldiers are stationed in Kuwait, which is used as a transit point for US and other coalition troops headed for Iraq.

Some 12,000 American civilians also live in Kuwait alongside around 9,000 Europeans and some 1,000 Australians.

 

Syrian rebels agree to leave new area outside Damascus

Family accuses Israel of killing Palestinian in Malaysia

Rouhani slams officials' 'vow of silence' in face of protests

US has 'concerns' about Turkey holding fair vote under state of emergency

Cinema makes return to Saudi Arabia

UN Security Council meets over Syria in Sweden

Turkish government rejects criticism of election campaign

Condemnation after Gaza teenager killed by Israeli soldiers

Natalie Portman says backed out of Israel prize over Netanyahu

Morocco, EU start talks on new fisheries deal

FIFA to return to Morocco to check hotels, stadiums

Turkey in shock after violent Istanbul derby

Iraq pays first war reparations to Kuwait since 2014

Fiery kites adopted as new tactic by Gaza protesters

Romanian president slams plan to move Israel embassy

Western strikes on Syria bring no change whatsoever

Trump criticises OPEC for high oil prices

Syria says rebels south of capital surrender

Market has capacity to absorb higher oil prices: Saudi minister

Putin 'ready' for Trump summit

Saudi Arabia to host first public film screening

HRW criticises Lebanon for evicting Syria refugees

Saudi says intercepted ballistic missile from Yemen

Russia mulls supplying S-300 missile systems to Syria

Bashir fires Sudan foreign minister

Washington: Assad still has 'limited' chemical capability

European MPs urge US not to scrap Iran deal

Oil price soars to highest level in years

Two more pro-Kurdish MPs stripped of Turkey seats

Oil theft 'costing Libya over $750 million annually'

Turkey's snap polls: bold gambit or checkmate for Erdogan?

Iran arrests senior official over public concert

Bahrain sentences 24 to jail, strips citizenship

UN experts urge Iran to cancel Kurd's death sentence

Moderate quake strikes near Iran nuclear power plant

Syria regime forces caught in surprise IS attack

Turkey sentences 18 to life for killing ‘hero’ coup soldier

Exxon faces setback in Iraq as oil and water mix

Libya to clamp down on fuel smuggling

Yemen to arrest colonel for overlooking African migrant rape

Erdogan sends Turkey to snap polls on June 24

Qatar joins Gulf military exercise in apparent compromise

Saudi-Russia oil alliance likely to undercut OPEC

UN in security talks with Syria on chemical probe

Riyadh says two al Qaeda militants killed in Yemen