Iraqi Missile Carries No Non-conventional Warhead

The Iraqi missile hitting a shopping mall in Kuwait City carried no non-conventional warhead and slightly injured two people, a Kuwait spokesman said Saturday.

Col. Yousef Al-Mulia, who is also director of the Morale and Guidance Department, said in a statement that Iraq usually hides these missiles in residential areas in south Iraq to attack civilian sites inside Kuwait.

At around 1:45 a.m. local time (2345 GMT Friday), a low-fly short-term missile hit the Sharq Market, the biggest shopping mall in this oil-rich Gulf state.

A movie theater was destroyed and some shops in the mall were slightly damaged. A bridge which connects the mall with the sea also sustained slight damage.

Al-Mulia said investigations showed that the missile carried no non-conventional warheads, noting that parts of the missile carried Arabic prints which confirmed it was manufactured in Iraq.

He stressed that it is the third of its kind hitting Kuwait since the US-led war started on March 20.

However, he reiterated that his country would not participate in the war, but will take any necessary measures to defend its people and territories.

On Saturday morning, a helicopter was seen hovering low to search the site and some navy personnel in two boats were in the sea to collect the fragments of the missile.

Meanwhile, an executive of the mall, who declined to be identified, told Xinhua that since the damage was only slight and could be dealt with quickly, the mall would reopen later this afternoon after necessary repairs.

He said this decision followed assessment of damage on the mall's management building and its annexed cinema theater.

The section which was affected by the attack would close for repairs while the remainder of the mall would stay open, he added.

The damage did not reach the basic structure, and only windows and shop fronts were damaged by shrapnel and the strength of the explosion, he said.

Some 15 Iraqi missiles have been fired into Kuwait since the war started, with some shot down by Patriot anti-missile batteries.

Kuwait is the launching pad for the US-British coalition forces to attack Iraq.



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