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U.S. troops in Kuwait warned to guard against attacks

Friday, January 17, 2003

ABU DHABI ŅU.S. troops in Kuwait have been warned that they face attacks on the streets of major cities by Arab nationals opposed to any Washington-led war against Iraq.

Kuwaiti government sources said the sheikdom has relayed an alert to U.S. Central Command that American soldiers walking through the streets of Kuwait City and other cities could be in danger. They said some Kuwaiti nationals and Arab expatriates are seeking to provoke U.S. soldiers.

In one incident, a Syrian merchant attacked a group of U.S. soldiers while they were shopping in the market on Kuwait City. The merchant lunged at five U.S. soldiers with a knife, Middle East Newsline reported. Nobody was injured.

In another incident, an unidentified Arab national attacked a U.S. soldier in another market in the Kuwaiti capital. Other soldiers saw the Arab rushing toward the serviceman with a knife and their shouts scared off the attacker.

More than 15,000 U.S. soldiers are in military camps throughout the sheikdom. Over the next few weeks, they will be joined by at least 17,000 additional U.S. troops.

Last year, U.S. soldiers came under light arms fire in several attacks in Kuwait. One soldier was killed and several others were injured. Over the last week, at least three American soldiers were injured in what were termed work accidents. One of the soldiers, identified as a marine, was injured while working at an air force base. Another soldier was injured in a collision between two U.S. military vehicles.

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