Kuwait said on Wednesday it had arrested a suspect in the murder of a Canadian aircraft technician, the first Westerner to be killed in the Gulf area since the United States launched air strikes on Afghanistan, reported the official Kuwaiti news agency (KUNA).
Interior minister Sheikh Mohammed Khaled Al Sabah told reporters that the wounded Filipina wife of Canadian Luc Ethier had identified a man from among several people who were arrested in connection with the attack.
But he refused to give any further details on the nationality of the suspect or his motive, saying the investigation was continuing.
However, AFP said that the wife identified a Kuwaiti military man as the killer, but security authorities are not convinced the man singled out was the assailant.
"Luc Ethier's wife, Sara, says she is sure that the man she identified in a line up is the man who shot both her and her husband," a senior security source told AFP Wednesday.
The source said the suspect, identified as M.M., is a member of the Kuwaiti armed forces.
"But we're not convinced it is him. The evidence we have so far doesn't point to him, although she says she is sure it is him," the source added.
Luc Ethier was shot three times as he walked with his wife through a busy shopping area in Fahaheel, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Kuwait City.
Ethier, who had converted to Islam last February, died instantly when one of three bullets fired at him penetrated his heart and the other two his head.
His Filipina wife survived the attack after being shot three times, in the back and shoulder.
Kuwaiti Information Minister Sheikh Ahmed Fahd Al Sabah said Monday that the authorities had still not ruled out that Ethier's murder could have been an act of terrorism.
The security source said earlier this week that evidence gathered so far indicated that the assailant acted alone and was not part of a larger group.
The source had also said that the gunman shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) three times as he fled the scene.
According to the Canada Star, the murder has raised fears that those sympathetic to Osama bin Laden may be targeting Westerners in retaliation for the US-led war against terrorism in Afghanistan.
The shooting came just days after Canada pledged military support for the US-led strikes on Afghanistan for harboring accused terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 attacks on New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania.
There are about 2,350 Canadians living in Kuwait but more than 6,000 US citizens live there. That is in addition to several thousand members of the US military who are present in the oil-rich state as part of a defense agreement signed after the 1991 Gulf War that liberated Kuwait from a seven-month Iraqi occupation – Albawaba.com
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