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Thursday, 11 October, 2001, 16:02 GMT 17:02 UK
Kuwait alert after Canadian shot
Kuwait City
The attack happened in a busy market area
Westerners in Kuwait have been warned to be extra vigilant after a Canadian man was killed and his Filipina wife was injured in a drive-by shooting.

The killing may have been linked to the US-led air strikes in Afghanistan, diplomats and security forces said.

The man, named as Luc Ethier, 36, died on the spot after being hit by three bullets in a busy market area on the outskirts of Kuwait City.

At the moment I don't feel there is a need to leave Kuwait, but if there is another incident we will seriously consider leaving

Canadian worker Ann Saunders

His wife is stable in hospital after suffering three gunshot wounds.

Kuwait's Arab Times quoted her as saying a man with a rifle stepped out of a car and shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest) before opening fire.

She described the attacker as someone from the Indian sub-continent, Reuters news agency reported.

About 65% of Kuwait's 2.2 million population are foreigners, mostly Asian workers.

Mr Ethier worked as a civilian aircraft engineer for the US defence contractor DynCorp in Kuwait's Ahmed al-Jaber air base.

Canada has supported US strikes on Afghanistan's ruling Taleban for harbouring Saudi-born militant Osama Bin Laden, the prime suspect in the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington.

Diplomats say several Western embassies in Kuwait are reviewing already strict security measures in the light of the shooting.

'Maintain low profile'

The US embassy has repeated a warning to its 8,000 citizens in the country to exercise the "highest vigilance".

"We urge American citizens to limit their movements, maintain a low profile and remain alert to their surroundings," the embassy said.

The French embassy told about 500 nationals in Kuwait to avoid market places, wear "appropriate" clothes and to take extra care in their movements.

Ann Saunders, a Canadian school counsellor working in Kuwait, told Reuters: "I feel threatened at the moment. We feel that we could be isolated targets."

School tighten security

She added: "At the moment I don't feel there is a need to leave Kuwait, but if there is another incident we will seriously consider leaving."

There are about 4,000 Canadians in Kuwait.

Western schools and other institutions were reported to be introducing new security measures.

Kuwait is supporting America in its war on terrorism.

The US has kept a military presence in the country since leading a Gulf War coalition that ended a seven-month Iraqi occupation.

Petrol bomb thrown

In another incident believed linked to the US attacks, a man threw a petrol bomb at a German couple in Saudi Arabia.

Diplomats said the man and woman escaped unhurt after the incident in Riyadh on Tuesday.

They had been driving their car towards their compound just after sunset when a man wearing Saudi national dress threw the petrol bomb, which missed.

The German embassy has since advised its nationals in the kingdom to tighten their personal security.

See also:

09 Oct 01 | Americas
America on high alert
10 Oct 01 | Americas
US names cyber-terrorism czar
09 Oct 01 | Health
FBI pursues anthrax lead
16 Sep 01 | Americas
US legal chief seeks tougher laws
07 Oct 01 | Middle East
American killed in Saudi explosion
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