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Kuwait sentences 7 to death for Shiite mosque bombing

A Kuwaiti court sentenced seven men to death today, five of them in absentia, for their roles in a deadly Shiite mosque bombing claimed by the Islamic State group, killing 26 people including two Indians.

A total of 29 defendants, seven of them women, had been on trial on charges of helping a Saudi suicide bomber carry out the June 26 attack which killed 26 Shiite worshippers including two Indians and wounded 227.

It was the bloodiest attack in Kuwait’s history.

“The court draws attention to the dangers of this extremist ideology that resorts to terrorism for its implementation,” judge Mohammad al-Duaij said before reading out the verdicts in a packed courtroom.

He called on authorities to root out the ideology of the jihadists.

Among those he sentenced to death was Abdulrahman Sabah Saud, a stateless Arab convicted of driving the bomber to the mosque and bringing the explosives belt he used from near the Saudi border.

During the trial, Saud confessed to dropping off the bomber but said he had been assured that the plan was to blow up the mosque without harming any worshippers.

The second man in the dock sentenced to death was Fahad Farraj Muhareb, described by the court as the “wali” or leader of the local IS branch.

The other five — who remain at large — include two Saudi brothers, Mohammad and Majed al-Zahrani, who were convicted of smuggling the explosives used in the attack from Saudi Arabia in an icebox.

The two men were arrested by Saudi authorities days after the bombing.

The other three include two stateless Arabs who were convicted of fighting with IS, as well as one defendant whose identity has not been established.