Armed mob destroys Kuwaiti TV station

Several members of the ruling family are thought to have taken part.
Police guard the Scope TV studios after the attack in Kuwait City.
Police guard the Scope TV studios after the attack in Kuwait City.

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A huge armed mob has stormed a TV station in Kuwait, attacking staff and leaving studios in ruins. The assault, by up to 150 people weilding knives and pistols, occurred on Sunday (Oct 17) at the headquarters of privately-owned Scope TV, after the channel broadcast a show which allegedly criticised the country's ruling family.

Over USD1 million damage was caused by the raid, which the Kuwaiti public prosecution believes was carried out by several members of the ruling Al Sabah family. Police have implicated Sheik Faisal al Homoud al Malek al Sabah, Kuwait's ambassador to Jordan.

"We will not accept an attack against anybody," vowed interior minister Sheik Jaber al Khaled al Sabah. "I have been personally following up the incident through the senior officers deployed at the scene. This is an offensive act, and it is not in line with our customs. We are on top of the situation to forestall further degeneration."

The programme in question was a live talk show, in which Scope TV owner Talal Saeed accused relatives of the ruling family of trying to overthrow Kuwait's founder almost a century ago. The channel had rebuffed claims of sedition just days previously, following a satirical comedy show which poked fun at Kuwaiti officials.

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