Kuwait's opposition Popular Action Bloc yesterday expelled two of its members over their participation in a mourning rally for top Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah who was killed last week.
The surprising move came as pressure mounted on the two lawmakers -- Adnan Abdulsamad, who spoke at the rally, and Ahmad Lari -- with some MPs either urging the government to take legal action against them and others already preparing to lift their immunity to allow their prosecution, English-language daily Kuwait Times reported.
The Popular Action Bloc, headed by veteran MP Ahmad Al-Saadoun, strongly condemned in a statement the participation of the two MPs in "the rally to mourn terrorist Imad Mughniyah who brutally killed two Kuwaitis during the  hijacking of the Jabriya plane" and "which has hurt the feelings of Kuwaitis", the paper said.
The expulsion came following a lengthy meeting of the group and after consultations with all members, the statement added.
The group comprises five MPs besides Abdulsamad and Lari, both of who were in Finland on government business and could not be reached for comment.
The two lawmakers were only expelled from their bloc but remained in the legislature.
Earlier in the day, four Kuwaiti lawyers filed a lawsuit against the two MPs and several other Shiite personalities who took part in the rally.
The lawsuit is against Abdulsamad and Lari, as well as former minister Abdulhadi al-Saleh, former MP Abdulmohsen Jamal and municipal council member Fadhel Safar, lawyer Dhaidan al-Mutairi told AFP.
"We accused them of being founders and members of Hezbollah Kuwait, undermining national unity and declaring loyalty to Lebanon's Hezbollah," Mutairi said after meeting with the public prosecutor. These charges are punishable under Kuwait's penal code, he said.
Lebanon Shiite militant movement Hezbollah does not have a known offshoot in Kuwait but some people in the Gulf emirate believe there is such a group operating underground and refer to it as "Hezbollah Kuwait."
MPs in Kuwait cannot be arrested or interrogated before parliament agrees to lift their immunity. This can be done through a request by the public prosecution.
The rally held Saturday to mourn Imad Mughniyah, who was killed last week in a car bombing in Damascus, was attended by hundreds of Shiites under the close watch of security agencies.
Abdulsamad described Mughniyah as a "martyr hero" and denied that he was involved in the 1988 plane hijacking which led to the killing of two Kuwaitis whose bodies were dumped on the tarmac of Larnaca airport in Cyprus.
Sunni MPs and activists have blasted organizers of the rally and called on the government to prosecute them. Some MPs even called on Abdulsamad to give up his parliamentary seat.
The government of oil-rich Kuwait, where Shiites form one-third of the native population of one million, appealed for restraint on Monday after the reactions to the rally took a sectarian turn.
The cabinet also condemned organizers of the rally for glorifying a "terrorist whose hands were stained with the blood of innocent martyrs and who was behind many terrorist and criminal attacks".
The cabinet accused Mughniyah of hijacking the Kuwaiti passenger plane in 1988, in the first time that Kuwait officially names Mughniyah as the perpetrator in the hijacking which lasted 16 days.
The plane was the second to be hijacked by Shiite militants to demand the release of 17 Shiites imprisoned in Kuwait for carrying out bombings against U.S. and French embassies and Kuwaiti targets in December 1983.
They escaped from prison when Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990.