Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News provides a more detailed report on the deadly Jan. 31 firefight in Kuwait than was deemed worthwhile by most US media. The battle raged for nine hours in al-Qurain, just south of Kuwait City, leaving five dead. It was apparently sparked when security forces raided a supposed terrorist safehouse. The house was connected to a mosque, and owned by an imam. "Security forces … have liquidated a group of terrorists who had taken refuge in a number of locations in Mubarak Al Kabir district where they started shooting at security men who hunted them," the government said in an official statement, claiming the group was linked to al-Qaeda. Among those arrested was Amer Khlaif al-Enezi, a former imam at the mosque who was said to be the cell’s leader.
The big headlines today, of course, were of Bush touting the 60% voter turn-out in the Jan. 30 Iraq elections as a victory (despite a death toll in Iraq that day of at least 35). But the level of violence in the Gulf region is now so escalated that the Kuwait firefight–which would have been front-page news before the Iraq invasion–is relegated to a little blurb of wire copy buried deep in the paper (as it was in today’s NY Times).