Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) August 20, 2009 -- It would be better to hold your wedding festivities in a fire-proof environment when your ex-wife is an arsonist.
West of Kuwait City, the tribal area of al-Jahra, was unexpectedly lit-up when the woman's tent was set on fire by an ex-wife. Kuwait's customs, rooted deep in nomadic heritage, have the men and women segregated at wedding festivities. The children tend to go to the women's tent, as there is dancing and singing and a buffet dinner.
The tent, doused in petrol, burned to the ground in only 3 minutes, killing 43 people, including six children. "52 others were injured and remain in hospital", said the health minister Hilal al-Sayer.
Her mother and sister are believed to have died in the blaze, but the bride escaped. It seems she was still having her make-up applied.
Guests stampeded in an attempt to get out the only exit in the tent. As the tent had been erected in the narrow confines between two residential complexes, rescue efforts were hampered.
At the time of the fire there were around two hundred people in the tent. Abdullah al-Zafeeri, whose mother and sister are among the injured, said "I heard the women screaming. Some children died in the arms of their mothers".
The names of those killed have not been released. Many charred remains are unrecognizable and will require forensic aid before being able to supply formal identification.
Col. Mohammed al-Saber, Interior Ministry spokesman, said "We have identified the perpetrator, who confessed to committing the crime for personal reasons". Witnesses saw the 23 year old woman pouring petrol over the marquee.
Following her arrest the arsonist admitted her actions were for revenge. She was unhappy over the poor treatment she had received from her ex-husband prior to their divorce.
The arsonist will most likely face the death penalty, which is still in force in Kuwait, unless her lawyers are able to convince the court of diminished responsibility through mental impairment.
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