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Thursday, 23 January, 2003, 12:29 GMT
Kuwait waits for war
Kuwaiti residents relax along the Persian Gulf
Kuwaiti residents are aware of danger in the region

There is chaos in Kuwait City with smoke pouring from a high-rise building.

Rescue workers are fighting to save the casualties. Luckily, it is only a drill and not the real thing - at least not yet.

All citizens in Kuwait think the war is imminent

Adnan al-Abdul Mossins
Emergency drill organiser
"It is simulating a danger outside the building in case of war or an invasion," explained Adnan al-Abdul Mossins, one of the organisers of the drill.

He is convinced such measures are now vital to protect Kuwait's two million citizens from attack by Iraq or by terrorists.

"I think war is getting closer because of all the preparation we see around us," he said.

"All citizens in Kuwait are very aware of that and they think the war is imminent."

Grateful

Inside one of Kuwait's busiest markets - or souks - the talk was of war and little else but war following the announcement that more British troops were on their way to the Gulf.

Paramedics treat a mock victim during an exercise in Kuwait
Paramedics have been practising emergency techniques

Adel al-Mutawa a businessman, says the deployment comes not a moment too soon. He is adamant that Saddam Hussein must be removed.

"We are feeling unsafe here, we don't feel stability here," he said. "I don't feel safe and he has to go."

He said the residents of Kuwait did not mind having American and British troops coming here to prepare for war.

"We are so grateful from the 1990s. And we are still grateful that they are coming back to help people they don't know from thousands of miles away. They are coming to help us which is very, very kind," he said.

Missing

Fadil al-Sayafi feels more strongly than most.

He and his brother, Hassan, were taken prisoner during Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Fadel was freed but he has not seen his older brother for nearly 12 years.

Hassan is one of the 600 prisoners-of-war whose location and freedom is still being sought.

"That's every Kuwaiti's hope. We would like to have freedom, especially if we could hear from our PoWs. My brother, I think, he's still alive. It will be the most happiness and relief if the PoWs come back," Fadil explained.

Ayman Abdul stares up at planes in the sky.

Not British and American bomber jets but his and his friends' remote controlled versions, flown for fun.

Yet he and the other students are in little doubt that soon the skies here will be filled with war planes flying sorties against Saddam Hussein.

"We are very afraid of him so we want to get rid of him. I think everything will be normal again if we get rid of Saddam Hussein."


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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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