KUWAIT: Kuwait has uncovered a network of Islamic State militants who fought in Iraq and Syria and detained some of its members, the interior ministry said on Thursday, a month after the group carried out the Gulf state's deadliest militant attack.
The network included five Kuwaitis, a ministry statement carried by the official KUNA state news agency said. The statement said without elaborating that one of the five had been killed in "a terrorist operation" in Iraq.
Read: IS suicide bomber kills 25 at Kuwait Shia mosque
The individuals admitted receiving lessons in the "science of a terrorist organization" and military training, the statement said. "They were involved in fighting operations in both Syria and Iraq."
The Gulf state launched a security crackdown on Islamist militants after a June 26 attack claimed by Islamic State, when a Saudi suicide bomber blew himself up inside a Shia mosque, killing 26 people.
Read: Kuwait Shia mosque bomber was Saudi national
The government declared itself at war with militants and said the bombing, Kuwait's worst militant attack, was aimed at stoking sectarian strife in the majority Sunni state where the two sects have traditionally co-existed in peace.
An interior ministry source told Reuters the individuals named in Thursday's statement were not connected to the June 26 attack. Authorities are prosecuting another group of suspects in that case.
Read: Kuwait attack shows Gulf vulnerability to Islamic State
Up to 30 per cent of Kuwait's 1.4 million citizens are Shia Muslims, who have enjoyed relatively good relations with the country's majority Sunnis.
The Gulf Arab state however shares its borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and its northeast is just a few km (miles) from Shia power Iran, in a region in the grip of sectarianism.
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