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Kuwait Armed Group Claims Murder of Korean

Posted January. 16, 2005 22:05,   


According to a Reuters report on January 15, a group calling themselves “Kuwait Mujahideen” has claimed on an Internet site that they have killed several Kuwaiti soldiers, three U.S. troops and one Korean.

The South Korean Embassy in Kuwait revealed on January 16 that it has run an investigation regarding the safety of the 500 Koreans in the area but has not received any reports of victims.

Reuters added that this is a previously unknown group, the names of the victims have not been verified yet, and officials are not available for comment. This group posted a message on an Internet site named “Minbar Ahl al-Sunna wal Jama`a (Forum for People who Follow Muhammad)” announcing they had attacked a Kuwaiti military base.

Reuters reported that this group attacked a military base in Umm al-Haiman, a small city in southern Kuwait, engaging in a firefight with Kuwaiti security forces.

Later, quoting government intelligence, Reuter announced the news that one Saudi Arabian gunman was killed and two Kuwaiti policemen were wounded during the clash.

Kuwait’s Interior Ministry only announced, “Security forces arrested one gunman at Umm al-Haiman, confiscating weapons and explosives, and are currently looking for the other six who have run away.”

Meanwhile, in response to the Reuters report, the Korean government raised the travel alert level from “Caution (Be aware of safety),” the first stage, to the second stage, “Warning (Be extremely aware of safety and reconsider trips to this area).”

An official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced this at an unofficial briefing, and said, “Regarding the Reuters report, the South Korean Embassy in Kuwait, the Kuwaiti government and the U.S. government are working to confirm it. First of all, we are trying to check the safety of the 450 Korean nationals in Kuwait.”

He said, “After investigating the statement issued by ‘Kuwait Mujahideen,’ we have found out that they are claiming the murder of a ‘Korean soldier’ instead of a ‘Korean’,” and added, “All Korean soldiers based in Kuwait are safe, and moreover Korean soldiers have no reason to go to the area in question.” Joint Chiefs of Staff also revealed that all 150 members of the Air Force Daiman Unit stationed in Kuwait are safe.

An official at Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “The Ali al-Salem U.S. military base, where the Daiman Unit is located, is in a desert with three to four layers of security facilities. Therefore it is impossible for terrorists to penetrate into this base.”

Hyong-gwon Pu bookum90@donga.com