Official: Kuwaiti Fighters in Afghanistan Can Return Home
Kuwaiti fighters in Afghanistan are free to return to their country but will be questioned and are liable to be punished accordingly, the emirate's first deputy premier said in comments published Saturday.
"Afghan Kuwaitis can return (to Kuwait) but we will question them and hold them accountable for their acts," Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah told the Kuwaiti daily al-Siyassa.
Afghan Arabs have the right to return to their countries but their countries have the equal right to question them, added Sheikh Sabah, who is also foreign minister.
Afghan Arabs are Arabs, such as wanted terror suspect Osama bin Laden, who originally went to Afghanistan to help fight the Russian invasion of the country in the 1980s.
Sheikh Sabah stressed, however, that the issue of Kuwaiti Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a spokesman for the al-Qaeda terror network, "is over" and not up for discussion.
Abu Ghaith shocked his country when he appeared on Qatar's Al-Jazeera satellite channel in early October as al-Qaeda's leading spokesman. He has since been stripped of his Kuwaiti nationality.
"Everybody knows there are Kuwaitis, Saudis, Egyptians, and Arabs in general in Afghanistan; we don't deny this, but don't know their numbers," said Sheikh Sabah.
Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan reported Thursday that five Kuwaitis were killed and an unspecified number of other Kuwaiti al-Qaeda men were injured during this week's prison uprising in Mazar-i-Sharif when US warplanes pounded the compound.
At least 15 Saudis and 13 Yemenis fighting alongside the Taliban militia have been killed since the start of the US-led war in Afghanistan on October 7, the Riyadh-based Okaz newspaper also reported Thursday.
Al-Qabas newspaper, meanwhile, said that at least 50 Kuwaitis between the ages of 19 and 26 are still in Afghanistan fighting alongside the Taliban – Kuwait (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)