Kuwait arrests 12 fugitives in terror case

Kuwait arrests 12'terrorists after weeks-long manhunt

Kuwait arrests 12 fugitives in terror case

Kuwait, which has a large Shi'ite Muslim minority, sits in a hard geographical position, close to two major regional powers and arch foes - mainly Shi'ite Iran and Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia.

In June, Kuwait's Supreme Court overturned an acquittal by an appeals court and convicted 21 Shiite Muslims of forming an Iran and Hezbollah-backed "terrorist cell".

The cell had planned to launch attacks across the Gulf state, according to the court verdict.

Kuwait announced on Saturday that it had arrested 12 convicted members of the al-Abdali terrorist cell.

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Last month, Kuwait expelled 15 Iranian diplomats and closed the Iranian embassy's military, trade and cultural missions over Tehran's alleged support to the "terrorist cell".

One Iranian man was tried in absentia and the rest are Kuwaiti nationals.

The case dates back to August of 2015 when Kuwaiti security forces raided a farm in Al Abdali near Iraqi border, arresting a number of people in possession of weapons. Kuwait, which has close proximity with two regional powers and arch-foes - Saudi Arabia and Iran - is also experiencing turbulence due to the volatile situation in its northern neighbor, Iraq, where the government is battling against the militant "Islamic State" (IS) group.

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