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Missile hits Kuwait City mall

One worker injured in closed shopping center

damage
A man surveys the damage at a shopping mall in Kuwait City.

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A missile struck a shopping mall in Kuwait City early Saturday morning (March 28)
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KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait (CNN) -- A missile struck a shopping mall in Kuwait City early Saturday, the first time the capital has been hit since the Iraq war began, Kuwaiti authorities said.

A mall worker suffered minor injuries and was treated at a hospital, authorities said.

The Kuwaiti News Agency said the mall will stay open for business, despite several businesses and a cinema being damaged. The mall was closed at the time.

The explosion shook the city center shortly after 1:40 a.m. local time (5:40 p.m. Friday EST), and smoke billowed across the sky. No warning sirens alerted residents, as is protocol here.

A spokesman for the Kuwaiti information minister said Kuwait believes the missile was a Chinese-made "Seersucker," which Iraq has adapted and renamed the Faw. He said there are three versions of the Faw, with ranges of 43 miles [70 kilometers], 93 miles [150 kilometers] and 124 miles [200 kilometers]. CNN also identified the missile as a Seersucker.

"This kind of missile usually it flies between 20-25 meters [66-83 feet] over the land. For that, there is no defense system that can reach it," Kuwaiti Information Minister Ahmad Fahd al-Sabah told CNN.

Initial tests for chemical weapons were negative, he added.

Souq Sharq -- Kuwait's premier mall on the seafront with shops, a movie theater and restaurant -- is near Kuwait's parliament, Foreign Ministry and Sief Palace, the official seat of the emir of Kuwait.

About 25,000 people visit the mall on weekends, officials said.

The theater was severely damaged, and video showed the main portico with glass doors, drywall and twisted steel beams scattered across the interior. Several holes were in the ceiling.

Glass and other debris landed more than 500 yards away. The missile's tail was found in a nearby canal.

This was the 13th missile launched from Iraq toward Kuwait since the war began, but most have been knocked out of the sky by Patriot missiles.

Two landed in rural desert areas without causing any injuries, and at least one landed in the Persian Gulf.

-- CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta contributed to this report


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