KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait has arrested two police officers in a security crackdown on Islamist militants launched after last week’s deadly bombing of a mosque claimed by Islamic State, newspapers reported on Wednesday.
The attack by a suicide bomber on Friday killed 27 people and injured more than 200, prompting the government to declare it was at war with Islamist militants and would strike at cells believed to be on its soil.
Security forces found weapons, ammunition, maps and slogans supporting Islamic State in a raid on the home of a student and another suspect who said they had received the weapons from the officers, al-Rai daily quoted security sources saying.
About 90 people have been detained by authorities investigating the attack on a Shi‘ite Muslim mosque in Kuwait City, Al Qabas newspaper said on Wednesday, up from 60 reported by media on the previous day.
The Kuwaiti interior ministry was not immediately available for comment.
Ten suspects, among them Saudis, Kuwaitis and stateless residents, had been referred to the public prosecution, it reported, a move that indicates a criminal case has been opened.
Among the 10 are five principal suspects accused of helping the suicide bomber, a Saudi, carry out the attack, it said.
Kuwaiti officials have said the attack was aimed at stirring up sectarian strife in the majority Sunni Muslim state, where the two sects have traditionally coexisted in peace.
Kuwait’s interior minister, Sheikh Mohammad al-Khaled al-Sabah, said on Tuesday security forces were determined to dismantle any further cells before these were able to strike.
As authorities tightened security, parliament on Wednesday approved a law put forward by the interior ministry to create a DNA registry of Kuwaiti nationals and residents living in the Gulf state.
Friday’s attack was one of three that day on three continents linked to Islamist militants. In France, a man was arrested on suspicion of beheading his boss and trying to blow up an industrial gas plant, while in Tunisia a gunman shot nearly 40 people at a beach resort.
Additional reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Taghreed alMadani, Editing by William Maclean and Ruth Pitchford