The heightened measures come against a backdrop of concerns that terrorist groups may be planning to carry out attacks during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) conference.

The GCC members are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah told reporters on Wednesday that combatting terrorism would top the agenda of the GCC summit.

The government has deployed tanks, armoured vehicles and hundreds of soldiers on a number of roads and vital installations, mainly around the Bayan Palace where the leaders will stay and meet during their two-day summit.

The police, army, the National Guard and forces protecting the emir have all been drafted in to the large-scale security plan for the summit.

Interior Minister Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah said this week that a comprehensive security plan was in place for the meeting and the Gulf Cup football tournament from 24 December to 11 January.

Tanks and armoured vehicles have been positioned around Kuwait International Airport, for the arrivals and departures of the Gulf leaders.

Terror scares

Kuwait has stepped up security after several terror scares in recent weeks. A letter bomb exploded in a newspaper office on 11 December.

Three more letter bombs were found the next day.

Four soldiers were slightly injured when US troops came under fire in at least three shooting incidents on Sunday.

The same attackers ambushed a bus carrying foreign workers on Monday, wounding five.

The police detained four people, all Kuwaiti nationals, and the prime suspect "confessed" to the four attacks, according to the interior minister.