Ex-wife behind Kuwait wedding fire

KUWAIT CITY: The ex-wife of the groom at a Kuwait wedding party that turned into tragedy when a fierce fire engulfed a tent has confessed to starting the blaze, a local newspaper reported on Monday.

Al-Qabas said the 23-year-old women had confessed to police that she used petrol to torch the packed wedding tent on fire to avenge her ex-husband's "bad treatment" of her before their divorce.

There was no immediate official confirmation of the report.

A total of 43 women and children have now perished in the inferno which began on Saturday night in a tent reserved for women at the wedding party in Jahra, west of Kuwait City, fire chief General Jassem al-Mansuri told AFP.

Ninety other people were injured in the blaze, which destroyed the packed tent in just minutes in the deadliest civilian disaster in the modern history of the Gulf state.

Mansuri said on Sunday that most of the bodies were charred beyond recognition and that forensic officials were working to identify the victims.

The Kuwait Times had said some of the victims were relatives of people who had perished in a similar incident in Jahra last year, when two women were killed and several others wounded.

Most wedding parties in the conservative Muslim Gulf state are segregated in line with local tradition.