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Kuwait court sentences 7 to death for mosque bombing

29 defendants had been on trial on charges of helping a suicide bomber carry out the 26 June attack which killed 26 worshippers
Kuwaitis arrive at the Palace of Justice for the sentence hearing on 15 September 2015 of defendants for their roles in a deadly mosque bombing, Kuwait City (AFP)

A Kuwaiti court sentenced seven people to death on Tuesday, five of them in absentia, for their roles in a deadly Shia mosque bombing claimed by the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

A total of 29 defendants, seven of them women, had been on trial on charges of helping a Saudi suicide bomber carry out the 26 June attack, which killed 26 worshippers and wounded 227.

Among those sentenced to death were one defendant convicted of driving the bomber to the mosque and a second described by the court as the "wali" or leader of the local branch of IS. Both were in court.

The other five, who remain at large, include two Saudi brothers who were convicted of smuggling the explosives used in the attack from Saudi Arabia in an icebox.

The court acquitted 14 defendants and sentenced the rest to jail terms of up to 15 years. 

The defendants included seven Kuwaitis, five Saudis, three Pakistanis and 13 stateless Arabs known as bidoon, as well as one unidentified person still at large. 

An IS-affiliated group calling itself Najd Province claimed the Kuwait City bombing as well as suicide attacks at two Shia mosques in Saudi Arabia in May.