Militant rams truck into car carrying Americans in Kuwait
- An Egyptian national rammed a truck into a car carrying five Americans, with the Kuwaiti state news agency reporting the assailant had been carrying explosives.
- While the Americans were unhurt, the attacker was transported to the hospital after sustaining injuries.
- Authorities have claimed to have thwarted multiple attacks by the Islamic State in the country in the last few months after the deadliest militant attack in decades took place in a Shiite mosque in 2015.
“Kuwait arrests suspected Islamist after truck attack on Americans” (Reuters)
“Kuwait arrests Egyptian with links to Islamic State after attack on US nationals” (Egypt Independent)
“Kuwait arrests Egyptian after failed suicide attack on 5 U.S. soldiers” (AP via Global News)
Indonesian women continue migrating to Middle East for work despite government ban
- A new report from Migrant Care has found that more than 1,000 women have traveled to the Middle East for domestic work despite government moratorium.
- The Indonesian government announced a ban on any new labor-based migration to the Middle East in May 2015 after several high-profile reports of abuse.
- The revelation comes amidst ongoing efforts by the government to formalize labor practices in the domestic services industry both at home and abroad, with an estimated 2.3 million Indonesian domestic workers abroad and an additional undocumented population.
“Indonesian women defy ban to work as maids in Middle East: survey” (The Thomson Reuters Foundation)
“Indonesia plans to stop sending new live-in maids abroad” (The Straits Times)
“Six Gulf countries informed of Indonesia domestic workers ban” (Gulf News)
Lebanese immigrants in the Gulf fear deportation as GCC-Lebanon relations deteriorate
- Relations between Lebanon and the Gulf Cooperation Council have deteriorated after Lebanon refused to condemn attacks on a Saudi ambassador in Iran.
- Sunni Gulf countries have targeted those viewed as sympathetic or connected to Shiite group Hezbollah in Lebanon, though Lebanese immigrants fear what constitutes “sympathy” or “connection” may be broad and arbitrary.
- To date, Bahrain and Kuwait have deported Lebanese on the basis of Hezbollah sympathy, and Lebanese in other Gulf countries fear their visa-renewal process.
“Lebanese expats fearful as Gulf expels dozens accused of Hezbollah links” (Reuters)
“Bahrain sends home Lebanese citizens” (The National)
“Saudi Arabia’s bitter Lebanese divorce” (Reuters)
(Image Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
As many as 200 Zimbabwean women caught up in Kuwaiti human trafficking scam
- The women were lured to Kuwait under the pretense of domestic and healthcare employment but found themselves subjected to terrifying work conditions including starvation, violence, and false imprisonment.
- While 15 of the women have been repatriated, at least 150 remain in Kuwait, caught up in a process that has seen a former Kuwaiti ambassador to Zimbabwe charged with human trafficking.
- Many Zimbabweans, facing an unfavorable labor market at home, have taken to working abroad, with some having become trapped in employment and scholarship scams by human traffickers.
“Zimbabwe: Former Kuwaiti diplomat trafficked 200 women” (International Business Times)
“Zim govt brings back 15 women trafficked to Kuwait – ministry” (News24)
“15 Zimbabwe women home after Kuwait trafficking scam” (Eyewitness News)
Kuwait mourns 27 killed in IS attack on Shiite mosque
- Injuring an additional 200, Friday’s attack on the Imam Sadeq mosque in Kuwait City was claimed by the Islamic State’s Wilayat of Najd division, which was also responsible for similar recent attacks in Saudi Arabia.
- Kuwait has largely been shielded from the sectarian strife that has permeated the region, but the Shia community has felt it would only be a matter of time before violence arrived in Kuwait.
- Saudi and Bahraini Shiites joined thousands of Kuwaitis who attended the funeral ceremonies.
“We had sectarianism before Syria. There were examples, even in parliament, of language that was very strong. We had tensions, but there was no violence. No attacks. No bombing.”
Read the full story at Reuters.
(Image Credit: Jassim Mohammed/Reuters)