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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 February, 2005, 18:08 GMT
Kuwait PM warns newspaper editors
Kuwait security forces checking traffic
Kuwait has seen an sudden outbreak of militant activity
Kuwait's Prime Minister has warned that newspapers publishing information about investigations into militant suspects could be suspended or closed.

Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah said journalistic scoops could endanger security men and their investigations and help fugitives.

Sheikh Sabah's remarks were published following a meeting with the editors of the country's seven daily newspapers.

Kuwait has been rocked by a series of gunfights between police and militants.

Correspondents say several of Kuwait's privately-owned papers have recently published details about investigations and police raids.

Kuwait's 1961 Press Law, widely opposed by civil rights activists, gives the cabinet the right to close newspapers.


Sheikh Sabah also told the editors that unlicensed mosques would be closed and school books inspiring religious intolerance would be deleted, as part of an escalated campaign against Islamic extremism.

This is the first time a senior official has addressed possible problems in the school curriculum, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Sheikh Sabah
Sheikh Sabah is spearheading an all-out campaign
On Sunday, Kuwait began blocking Islamist websites that it said were inciting violence. Three Kuwaiti sites, which have not been identified by the authorities, are now inaccessible, the Kuwait Times reported.

Last month, four security men were killed and 10 others wounded in fighting with Islamist militants.

Eight suspected militants were also killed and 14 others captured.

Kuwait currently hosts up to 30,000 US troops and is the key transit route for forces and civilians into Iraq.

Last Saturday, security forces arrested at least five foreigners suspected of militant affiliation.

However, newspapers - quoted by the AFP news agency - reported on Tuesday that the men, three Jordanians and two Saudis, had been released. There has been no confirmation from the authorities.

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