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Mon 4 Jul 2016 10:02 AM

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Kuwait foils three ISIL attacks, says interior ministry

Ministry said one of those arrested was a Kuwaiti national who had joined ISIL and planned to bomb a mosque and an interior ministry building during Eid holidays

Kuwait foils three ISIL attacks, says interior ministry
KUNA release pictures of a woman and five young men, one of whom it said was a Kuwaiti national who had joined ISIL and planned to bomb a mosque and an interior ministry building during Eid holidays.

Kuwait foiled three planned ISIL attacks on the country, including a plot to blow up a Shi'ite mosque, after launching raids that resulted in the arrest of militants, state news agency KUNA said on Monday.

"Kuwait security agencies have carried out three pre-emptive operations in Kuwait and abroad that led to derailing a number of ISIL plots targeting Kuwait and arresting several IS members," said an interior ministry statement on KUNA.

The statement included pictures of a veiled, middle-aged woman and five young men, one of whom it said was a Kuwaiti national who had joined ISIL and planned to bomb a mosque and an interior ministry building during Eid holidays.

A year ago, Kuwait, home to several US military bases, suffered its deadliest militant attack in decades when a Saudi suicide bomber blew himself up inside a packed Shi'ite mosque, killing 27 people. ISIL claimed responsibility.

A US ally and neighbour of Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Kuwait is part of a 34-nation alliance announced by Riyadh in December aimed at countering ISIL and al Qaeda in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.

Shi'ites comprise between 15 and 30 percent of the predominantly Sunni Muslim Gulf Arab state, where members of both communities are known to live side by side with little apparent friction.

On Sunday, Kuwait National Petroleum Company said it would reinforce security measures at oil installations in coordination with the country's interior ministry.

"Intensive security plans to protect oil installations and facilities will be supported by the military and taken up after coordinating with the Ministry of Interior and its subsidiary bodies," Khaled Al-Asousi was quoted as saying by state news agency KUNA on Sunday. He did not provide further details.

A year ago an ISIL group suicide bomber killed 27 people when he blew himself up inside a Shi'ite Muslim mosque in Kuwait city, the first attack of its kind in the major oil-exporting state.

OPEC-member Kuwait pumps 3 million barrels of crude per day and has three refineries with a combined capacity of 930,000 bpd.