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Kuwait Protests Landing by Iraqis on Strategic Island

<i> From Reuters</i>

Kuwait complained to the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that about 80 Iraqis backed by 12 naval vessels had landed on Kuwait’s strategic Bubiyan Island in violation of the Gulf War cease-fire.

The Kuwaiti coast guard and some aircraft destroyed seven of the vessels, according to an unofficial translation of Kuwait’s letter to the council and to Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar.

Kuwait’s U.N. envoy, Mohammed Abulhasan, said Kuwaiti forces captured 45 of the Iraqis and believe the rest are still at large on the island.

He said the armed Iraqis, dressed in civilian clothes, came to Bubiyan in two vessels. They crossed the maritime border Wednesday morning and were subsequently supported by 12 naval vessels from a nearby Iraqi island.

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Kuwaiti diplomats reported there was some shooting but believed there were no casualties.

There was no immediate word from Iraqi officials.

Abulhasan speculated that the Iraqis were trying to retrieve abandoned weapons but said this would still be a violation of the Gulf cease-fire and that he wanted the Security Council to take steps to prevent any recurrence.


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