Sunday, January 30, 2005

SALMIYA SHOOTOUT UPDATE:

Saw a white helicopter hovering over salmiya at around 8:40 this morning, this must have been what it was about..

"Witnesses and security sources said police commandos had cordoned off a block in the capital’s mainly residential Salmiya district and were firing at two buildings in the area.
“They (police) were shooting at these buildings with M16s and rocket-propelled grenades,” one witness told Reuters. “The shooting is coming from various locations.”
Several police cars cut off access to the block, and a helicopter hovered overhead. Ambulances were seen racing into the area, but there was no immediate word on casualties."Khaleej Times

11:45am:
The shooting seems to have reached Hawalli. This is from people in the area...the news has yet to say anything..whether it is the same group that have reached Hawalli or whether it is a separate incident is unknown.

1pm:
The news ticker says that one suspect dead, one injured and three arrested...as for the security forces, one dead and three or four injured.

1:05 pm
Only on KTV would the reporter on the scene say that the operation has 'tammat bsalam', salam who exactly??..A Bahraini resident of the building was killed in the gunfire...there are shots on KTV of blood spattered walls and blood soaked floors they even showed a shot of a man's body on the steps with his body contorted so that you could not tell where his legs were they were twisted under his torso and his head was bleeding profusely...Why were they shooting from the ground at a residential building? Didn't they think that civilians would get in the way? The building is riddled with gunshots.

2:20
Three suspects dead, one security officer and one civilian also dead.

5:30
Different reports about the number killed..some say 5 others 3.

5 comments:

Q said...

Latest I got was at least one person dead, another injured from the police. I heard one person was caught but dont much more about it.

nibaq said...

I created a wiki page
Shoot OutWhere anyone can add links and any other information.

This way we have one place to keep track of everything

kwtia said...

Thanks guys, good idea Nibaq.
I just saw the ticker on the news let me update it on the post.

Ben Rivard said...

Kuwait's first terrorist victims

My friend was murdered in Kuwait and the local authorities did absolutely nothing for him, as usual, it was all about saving face.

On October 10th 2001, Canadian Luc Ethier and his Filipina wife Mary Jean Bitos were shot in the streets of Fahaheel by an extremist. Luc died and Mary Jean sustained critical wounds that nearly took her life as well. At the time, we all believed that the Criminal Investigation Department and the State Security Department would do their best to find the killer. Instead, after Mary Jean recognized Majeed Al-Mutairi from police records, they turned against her and fabricated a case against the victim and five other Filipinos nationals.

Even though the prosecution wrote a 120 pages report formally accusing Majeed Al Mutairi of murdering Canadian citizen Luc Ethier for political motives, Al-Mutairi was released due to tribal and political pressure. As if it was not enough, Al-Mutairi’s lawyer Nawaf Sari Al-Mutairi went above the whole justice system to the national assembly and requested the Evidence Department be segregated from the prosecution. In my opinion, it shows how desperate he was to get rid of some incriminating evidences against his client.

Meanwhile, SSD Brig. Gen. Jassem Al-Kandari and CID Lt. Mahmoud Al-Ajelan had arrested five Filipinos (two men and three women) and had been forcing them to confess the crime so they could let Al-Mutairi off the hook without raising too much suspicion.

As Court of Appeal records show; Lt. Al-Ajelan told presiding Judge Salah Al-Fahad that he had kept Teddy Tomaro in jail more than four days (ten days) without an arrest warrant because he refused to confess!!! Teddy Tomaro, Jymmy Binuya, Noraiza Talib Esick, Rosalia Baclig and Delore Esperitus claimed they had been tortured until they agreed with the confession. Also, Mary Jean Bitos claimed that she was threatened by the police while she was still recovering in her hospital bed. “They told me they would never let me go back to the Philippines if I accuse Majeed Al-Mutairi and didn’t agree with Tomaro’s confession.”

What happened after is not much better. After they were acquitted by the Court of Appeal, Bitos and Tomaro were kept in jail illegally for two and half months. On April 1st 2003, 17 months after they were wrongly accused, the Court of Cassation also agreed to their innocence. Even after they were found not guilty by all levels of the justice system of this country, they were simply kicked out of Kuwait like rubbish. No apologies, no compensation, nothing. They were deported to the Philippines and blacklisted. Once again, the rule of law was ignored. According to the Constitution of Kuwait, you are considered innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. If this is true, why is the Ministry of Interior treating them like criminals even after being acquitted by the court of law?

Also, following the verdict of the court of cassation, the Canadian government requested the reopening of the investigation to get justice for Luc Ethier. It has been over two years now and still; the Kuwaiti government is ignoring the formal requests made by the Canada

Ironically, Majeed Al-Mutairi was rearrested earlier this year in connection with the shooting between the Lions of the Peninsula and the police forces and still, Kuwait continues to deny the obvious.

What this terrorist did was wrong but what the Ministry of Interior did with this case is even worst. Not only they let the killer go free, they also used innocent people to cover up the truth in a failed attempt to prove there were no terrorists in Kuwait.

A year ago, the Ministry of Interior issued a statement that denied allegations that the State Security had tortured the suspects held in connection with the insurgency in Iraq. The statement also expressed pride in the work that was carried out by the Ministry’s personnel in ensuring the safety of the public while upholding the rule of law. It also avowed that the Ministry would abide by the articles of the Constitution and principles of universal human rights.


After reading such statement, I couldn’t stop recalling everything the Ministry’s employees haven’t done for Luc and Mary Jean. Obviously, they miserably failed to ensure Luc and Mary Jean’s safety and, they did everything but uphold the rule of law and abide by the articles of the Constitution as well as the principles of human rights. It really makes me wonder if the Interior Minister is fully aware of what is going on in his Ministry. I wonder if he knows that some of his Ministry’s employees wrote 300 pages of false statements for the court when they fabricated the case against Mary Jean and by doing so, they committed perjury which is a crime punishable by law. I wonder if he is aware that when some of his Ministry’s employees diverted the investigation against innocent people they obstructed justice which is also a crime punishable by law.

In Luc’s case, I really wish the Interior Minister had those Ministry employees investigated and prosecuted for abusing the power they were entrusted with and for committing these illegal acts in their official capacity. Lately, we have heard a lot about the importance of fighting corruption and the fact that no one is above the law. Citizens and residents have been asked to help by reporting any illegal act by those who are abusing their power. Also, every once in a while we read about some official who pretends having an open door policy to help people with their problems. Reporting such illegal acts to the proper ministry is exactly what I have been doing for the past Three years but nobody is willing to do anything about it. Unless some people turn their words into actions, corruption and abuse of power are here to stay!

When I look back at what took place during this case, I’m so disappointed of the behavior of some individuals who have absolutely no respect for other human beings. The way they just used six innocent people without scruples and then get rid of them like nothing was wrong is beyond belief. All this to protect a criminal and save face!! The Ministry of Interior is supposed to protect the innocents and punish the criminals; not the opposite.

My friend Luc was a Gulf War veteran, this country pined a medal to his chest after the liberation of Kuwait. I thought this medal meant respect, honor and recognition from Kuwait but not anymore. If I had one, I would just give it back because I can’t accept the way my friend was disrespected, dishonored and simply let down by Kuwait.

kwtia said...

Ben, Mr. Rivard..I am sorry to hear your story..Thank you for sharing this and I know it must be difficult and frustrating for you..and of course extremely devastating..