Kuwait authorities have seized a huge arms cache smuggled from Iraq and hidden beneath houses near the border, arresting three suspected members of a terrorist cell that was plotting to destabilize the country, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing local media.
Majority-Sunni Muslim Kuwait has been on alert since an Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shiite mosque in the capital Kuwait city in late June, killing 27 people.
A total of 19,000 kilograms (42,000 lb) of ammunition, 144 kg of explosives, 68 weapons and 204 grenades were seized from three properties in the al-Abdali area, state news agency KUNA said.
The three men arrested were the owners of the houses, it said.
Kuwait's Arabic-language al-Anba newspaper said the cache had been smuggled from Iraq and stored by members of a cell linked to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group.
"This plot by elements linked to Hezbollah had been under surveillance for a long time," the newspaper reported, according to Reuters.
"The suspects confessed to belonging to a terrorist organization and … guided security forces to the places where the weapons were hidden," KUNA quoted the ministry as saying, adding that the investigation was continuing to capture their accomplices.
An interior ministry spokesman could not immediately be reached for a comment, noted Reuters.
Hezbollah, known for its operations in Lebanon and Syria as well as for its attacks on Israel and Israeli targets abroad, has also been active in other Arab countries.
The group’s “military wing” was blacklisted by the European Union in July of 2013, though the group’s political arm was not.