KUWAIT: A teenager was stabbed to death during a fight yesterday in Sabah Al-Nasser. The victim, a Kuwaiti, had an altercation with a stranger that escalated when the latter took a knife out of his car, stabbed the victim and fled the scene, according to eyewitnesses' reports. Passersby rushed the victim to Farwaniya Hospital where he was pronounced dead due to severe blood loss.

The alleged killer later turned himself in at a Jahra police station, and told police there that he was acting in self-defense. He said that the teenager was the one who had the knife, adding that he managed to pin him to the ground, took away the knife and attacked him. The suspect, also a Kuwaiti, had a stab wound on his hand. The victim was stabbed in the heart. The suspect was remanded in custody pending further action.

The fight apparently started when the victim approached the suspect because he thought he was staring at him in a provocative manner. The two exchanged words and a fight ensued, ending up with the teen lying dead in a pool of his blood, according to preliminary investigations based on eyewitnesses' accounts.

Fights over trivial matters are very common in Kuwait, especially among youngsters, and they often end with deadly results. Last August, a 16-year-old boy was stabbed to death during a fight at 360 Mall. In 2013, a 24-year-old man died after he was attacked by three knife-wielding youngsters in Marina Mall. And in Dec 2012, an altercation in the parking lot of The Avenues mall left a 26-year-old dentist dead after four persons followed him inside the crowded mall and stabbed him there. According to a newspaper report, there were 7,310 stabbing incidents due to staring in 2015 alone.

The government has identified youth violence as a problem that needs to be addressed. "The government is keen on protecting the youth and fighting the youth violence phenomenon," Sheikh Salman Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, Minister of Information and State Minister for Youth Affairs said during a parliament session on Wednesday. He mentioned programs through which the youth affairs ministry "interacts with the youth through social media", and highlighted families' 'key role' as part of any successful strategy to combat youth violence.

By Hanan Al-Saadoun