x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Celebratory gunfire kills the groom at Kuwait wedding

An excited friend shoots the groom with a stray bullet as he charged his gun to fire into the air in celebration.

Kuwait City // A Kuwaiti groom was killed on his wedding day after his friend accidentally shot him.

The friend, who surrendered to police, shot Abdullah Al Khaldi, 24, inside a car that was taking the wedding party to the marriage celebration.

Mr Khaldi, who worked for the ministry of defence, died before reaching hospital.

The incident, in Al Jahra neighbourhood of Kuwait City, has reignited a debate about civilian possession of firearms, which is legal in Kuwait.

Several former opposition MPs blamed the government for Tuesday’s tragedy, saying the state had failed to crack down on arms caches held by citizens.

Dr Waleed Al Tabtabai, a former Salafist MP, called for a campaign to seize arms from civilians, similar to one that was launched the First Gulf War.

Between 1992 and 1994, the Kuwaiti government gave its security forces broad powers to enter private homes and collect weapons.

In 2007, the Small Arms Survey ranked the country 18th in the world for its high rate of civilian arms. It estimated that there were 630,000 small arms in the country, or 24.8 for every 100 citizens.

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman are also in the top 20 for civilian possession of guns.

foreign.desk@thenational.ae