Warnings issued for French in Kuwait following unrest

28th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 28 (AFP) - The French embassy in Kuwait has advised its citizens in the Gulf state to avoid shopping malls and only move around when necessary following clashes between suspected Islamist militants and security forces, sources in the community told AFP Friday.

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 28 (AFP) - The French embassy in Kuwait has advised its citizens in the Gulf state to avoid shopping malls and only move around when necessary following clashes between suspected Islamist militants and security forces, sources in the community told AFP Friday.

The embassy contacted its wardens asked them to convey the new warning to French nationals, the sources said, adding that the advice was "precautionary" and not based on any specific terror threat.

Two Kuwaiti security officers were killed and at least four others wounded in two gunfights with suspected Islamist militants on January 10 and 15.

Two suspects, including a Saudi, were also killed in the clashes.

The French warning followed a new advisory from the US embassy on Thursday warning of the danger of more unrest, saying residential complexes for Westerners could be targeted.

The British embassy also warned its citizens of a continued threat to Westerners in Kuwait.

The sources said the French warning was issued at the instructions of the foreign ministry in Paris and was the embassy's first since January 15.

Kuwait, which served as the main launch pad for the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, is home to 800 French, some 12,000 Americans and 9,000 Europeans, mostly Britons.

Kuwaiti security forces have arrested about 15 suspected Islamist militants, according to Interior Minister Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, but an unspecified number, including the group's spiritual leader, are still at large.

Sheikh Nawaf acknowledged last week that the militants belonged to an "organised group," but the country's national guard chief, Sheikh Salem al-Ali al-Sabah, said some of the group were members of Al-Qaeda.

The authorities say they have seized large quantities of arms, ammunition and explosives since the clashes.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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