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 Tuesday, 21 January, 2003, 19:03 GMT
Kuwait shootings leave expats on edge
Kuwaiti police remove the film from a traffic camera near the intersection where two Americans were ambushed
Kuwaiti police have launched a hunt for the killers

The message to United States military personnel has, since November, been simple - you do not go into Kuwait City.

The edict followed the shooting of two soldiers on an island off the Gulf state.

Kuwaiti police at the entrance of Camp Doha, Kuwait
Kuwaiti police quickly sealed off the scene
Then a few days later, another soldier was killed, this time at the hands of a Kuwaiti policeman.

However, Tuesday's shooting of two civilians working for the US military marks the first time that American civilian personnel have had to fear for their lives in this small Gulf state.

The two victims - one shot dead, one wounded - were both contractors brought over from the US to help build the huge and impressive complex at Camp Doha.

At least 15,000 Americans, mostly marines, are gathered at the camp, preparing for action against Iraq.

On Tuesday, Americans who live and work in Kuwait were perhaps for understandable reasons, reluctant to talk to journalists about their concerns.

The 4,000-strong British community in Kuwait is also wondering where Tuesday's shooting leaves them.

Stable state

Kuwait has always been regarded as one of the most stable of Gulf states.

CAMP DOHA
Built in 1991 during Desert Storm
Located 80 km from Iraq; 30 km from Kuwait city
Houses 15,000 US marines
Formerly warehouses
Off-limits to public
Used to stock-pile tanks and artillery

Both the United Kingdom and the US have enjoyed close and fruitful business links with the country.

There are English and American schools in Kuwait City and US oil interests abound here.

The British embassy is now considering whether to issue advice to its citizens.

The US government is already convinced this was a terrorist attack.

Whatever they decide, the expat communities of both countries will chew on the irony that they were probably safer before their nations decided to fill up their adopted homeland with tanks and soldiers.

  WATCH/LISTEN
  ON THIS STORY
  The BBC's Caroline Wyatt
"It is the sixth incident of it's kind here"
  The BBC's George Eykyn
"One man died at the scene"

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21 Jan 03 | Middle East
21 Jan 03 | Middle East
21 Nov 02 | Middle East
22 Nov 02 | Middle East
08 Oct 02 | Middle East
08 Nov 02 | Country profiles
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