Manama: Kuwait’s interior ministry has announced tight security measures during Muharram, the first month on the Islamic calendar — and an important month for Shiites.
Since a Daesh-affiliated suicide bomber blew himself up inside a Shiite mosque in June last year, killing 27 people and wounding 227, Kuwait has tightened security across the country.
Authorities worry that events that attract large crowds could be used to undermine security. Open-air Eid prayers were also banned this year.
Under the ministry’s plan no rallies will be allowed and no streets will be closed throughout the month.
The plan also bans setting up stands or designating areas on any road to distribute food or drinks, he added.
“The security situation requires greater awareness and closer coordination, so we must be fully ready and completely prepared with special security plans,” Sulaiman Al Fahad, the interior ministry undersecretary said as he chaired a high-level meeting.
“We want to at least achieve the success we accomplished last year and in which both citizens and residents had a highly significant role, particularly through their commendable cooperation with the security authorities.”
During the commemoration that climaxes on Ashura, meaning “ten” in Arabic, on the 10th day of the month, religious figures deliver sermons, processions are held in public areas and food and beverages are offered.
“We are all keen on an impeccable organisation and coordination through collective planning, perseverance and coordination under the supervision of security leaders,” Al Fahad said.
“We will not tolerate any shortcomings or failure, and everyone should rise to the responsibility. At the same time, we will not allow anyone, be he a preacher or lecturer, to use this religious occasion to break the general rules. We want all community centre owners and leaders to cooperate and ensure the occasion is not abused by anyone,” he said.
During the month of Muharram, Shiites commemorate the death of Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), in Karbala, Iraq, in the seventh century.