Kuwaiti security forces on Monday killed five suspected al-Qaida members and captured three others, including a suspected leader, marking an escalation in the fight between authorities and the group bent on destabilising the oil-rich US ally.

   

"Parliament unanimously passed this law on weapons collection, which is valid for two years," one lawmaker, Abd Allah al-Rumi, said.

   

After an upsurge in violence over the past month, a government draft was rushed through parliament procedures that often take months.

 

Past legislation

 

Kuwait introduced similar legislation in 1992 to deal with a proliferation of arms since the 1990-91 Iraqi occupation of the Gulf Arab state.

 

But parliament rejected an extension of that law in 1994, saying possession of weapons was a right.   

 

"Parliament unanimously passed this law on weapons collection, which is valid for
two years"

Abd Allah al-Rumi,
Kuwaiti legislator

Kuwait, which controls a tenth of global oil reserves, has stepped up security around oil installations after an attempt by fighters to launch an attack near the country's largest oil refinery and a US military camp.

   

Last week, US and British embassies warned of more attacks in Kuwait, which rounded up suspected al-Qaida fighters during raids after two officers and two armed men were killed in clashes earlier in January.

   

Kuwait, a transit route for foreign troops into Iraq, was a launch pad for the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Kuwaiti government has cracked down on Islamists opposed to the presence of some 30,000 US troops in the country.