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Kuwait Denies Shooting of US Soldiers Linked to Terrorism - 2002-11-24

A high ranking Kuwaiti official says last Thursday's shooting of two U.S. soldiers in Kuwait does not reflect a security lapse by the Kuwaiti government.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah says the emirate has concluded that last Thursday's shooting of two U.S. soldiers in Kuwait was an isolated incident and not associated with any terror group.

The foreign minister made his comments Sunday following Saturday's extradition of the suspect from Saudi Arabia to Kuwait.

Khalid al-Shimmari, a Kuwaiti junior policeman, is believed to have attacked two U.S. soldiers, who were driving a civilian vehicle on a highway near Kuwait City last Thursday. One soldier was shot in the face, the other in the shoulder. Both are expected to recover. On Friday Mr. al-Shimmari was arrested in Saudi Arabia.

The Kuwaiti foreign minister says medical records indicate Mr. al-Shimmari may be "mentally disturbed" and Thursday's shooting, he says, does not reflect security lapses by the Kuwaiti government.

Thursday's attack was the fifth shooting related incident involving U-S troops in Kuwait over the past two months. Last month a U.S. Marine was killed and another wounded by two Kuwaiti assailants who were then shot and killed by other U.S. Marines. Kuwaiti authorities confirmed that incident was related to an act of terrorism. 15 suspects were taken into custody as a result of that shooting.