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Kuwait hangs five, including mosque bombing convict

KUWAIT: Kuwait put to death five people on Thursday, including a man convicted of involvement in a 2015 Islamic State group suicide bombing that killed 26 people, the public prosecution said. The multiple executions in the state are the first since seven people were put to death in November last year, ending a five-year moratorium. In a statement, the public prosecution said it oversaw the “implementation of the death sentence in Kuwait’s Central Prison” against five people, most of them convicted of murder.

They included Abdulrahman Sabah Saud — the main convict in the 2015 bombing that struck a Shiite mosque in the capital during Friday prayers. It was the bloodiest attack in Kuwait’s history. Saud, a bedoon, was convicted of driving the bomber to the mosque and bringing the explosives belt he used from near the Saudi border. At his initial trial, Saud pleaded guilty to most charges but, in the appeals and supreme courts, he denied them all.

The other men executed on Thursday included a Kuwaiti, an Egyptian and a bedoon, all of whom had been convicted of murder. A Sri Lankan was put to death on drug charges. The public prosecution said all five were executed by hanging. Kuwait had initially charged 29 defendants, including seven women, with helping the Saudi mosque bomber.

In 2016, it upheld jail terms of between two and 15 years for eight people, including four women, and acquitted more than a dozen others. Those convicted include alleged IS leader in Kuwait, Fahad Farraj Muhareb, whose death sentence was commuted to 15 years in prison. Although Kuwait has executed dozens of people since it introduced the death penalty in the mid-1960s, the punishment is relatively rare.

Most of those condemned have been convicted of murder or drug trafficking. In April 2013, Kuwaiti authorities hanged three men convicted of murder. Two months later, two Egyptians, convicted of kidnap and murder, were executed. In 2017, the state carried out a mass execution of seven prisoners, including a ruling family member.

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