Kuwait seizes journalist letter bombs

Kuwaiti authorities have seized three booby-trapped letters addressed to journalists and a writer.

    Kuwaiti controversially backed the US invasion of Iraq

    Friday's seizure comes a day after a small explosive device in a letter sent to a Kuwaiti editor detonated.

    "The letters containing explosive material came from the same

    source in Lebanon which sent the letter to the editor of Al-Siyassa,"

    communications ministry undersecretary Hamed

    Khaja said.

    One letter was addressed to a journalist for Al-Siyassa, another to a

    colleague with the daily Al-Qabas, and the third to the secretary

    general of the Kuwaiti writers league, said Khaja

    .

    A small explosive device in a letter addressed to Al-Siyassa's

    outspoken editor Ahmad al-Jar Allah blew up on Thursday as his secretary

    was opening it, causing him slight injuries.

    Outspoken editor

    Jar Allah, who owns the Al-Siyassa newspaper and its sister

    English-language Arab Times, said

    the device was contained in a letter addressed to him and sent from

    Beirut.

    On opening it, the device blew up in Waleed Dahdooh's face. The

    secretary was treated for minor injuries to the face and hand, said

    Jar Allah, who was out of the country when the letter was opened.

    The sender's name on the letter was that of Ghassan Sharbel,

    assistant editor of the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat.

    "We denounce the use of the paper's and my name to carry out

    such loathsome acts against journalists"

    Ghassan Sharbel,
    Al-Hayat

     

    However, Sharbel and al-Hayat have both

     strongly condemned the attempt to associate them with the

    abortive attack on Jar Allah.

    "We denounce the use of the paper's and my name to carry out

    such loathsome acts against journalists," Sharbel, a Lebanese, said

    .

    Criticism of Islamists

    He added he had no explanation for the use of his and his

    newspaper's name, but t

    he incident was "detrimental to both Kuwait and Lebanon".

    The communication ministry's Khaja did not further identify "the

    same source" supposed to be the sender of the three letters

    intercepted on Friday.

    But press sources in Kuwait said the name of

    Sharbel and his newspaper had again been used by the would-be

    attackers.

    Jar Allah, whose columns are regularly published on the front

    pages of both Al-Siyassa and the Arab Times, is well-known for his

    criticism of Islamists.

    But Al-Siyassa last month also launched a scathing attack on the

    Syrian government for opposing the US-led occupation of Iraq.

    The newspaper warned

    that Damascus could meet the fate of former Iraqi president Saddam

    Hussein, ousted in April.

    SOURCE: AFP


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