World Bulletin / News Desk
At least five protesters were arrested and several injured in Kuwait as police tried to break up an opposition protest late on Monday, witnesses said.
Authorities had asked opposition lawmakers to call off the demonstration over political reforms, but at least 5,000 people gathered in a square near parliament that has been the site of several anti-government protests since last year.
Although major oil producer Kuwait has not experienced the mass Arab Spring protests seen elsewhere across the region, tensions have escalated between an elected parliament and a cabinet chosen by the prime minister, who is appointed by the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.
Monday's protesters, who included opposition politicians and political activists, called on the emir to set a date for upcoming parliamentary elections. They have voiced concern that Kuwait may change its electoral law in a way that would favour pro-government candidates.
Witnesses at the protest, where riot police were deployed, said they saw five protestors arrested. Several people, including police, were injured when demonstrators clashed with police as they tried to spread into a barricaded street.
Security is tighter than usual in Kuwait as the country hosts Asian leaders for a summit. The palace appealed to opposition lawmakers earlier this week to call off the protest.
Sheikh Sabah ordered the dissolution of parliament last week after months of political deadlock. Under the constitution, elections need to be held within 60 days of dissolution.
Political tensions have held up development and economic reforms in Kuwait, one of the richest countries in the world per capita. The dissolution of parliament is the sixth since Sheikh Sabah came to power six years ago and there have been 10 cabinets.
Clashes oppose Israeli forces and local residents in Dehisha camp
Economic penalties aimed at curbing Pyongyang's sanctions-evasions practices that facilitate coal, fuel transports
Will of Turkish Cypriot people must be included in gas drilling process in the Mediterranean, says Turkish Cypriot premier
Embassy opening will coincide with Israel's 70th anniversary, State Department spokesperson says
Russia stalls a vote on a ceasefire allowing humanitarian access in Syria, US envoy to UN says
Canadian foreign minister says targeting civilians is violation of international humanitarian law
Heather Nauert reiterates Turkish military operation in Afrin would cause a "distraction"
International law continues to view West Bank and East Jerusalem as 'occupied territories'
Hamas blasts Palestinian president's calls to resume talks with Israeli occupiers
Some say transport union leader Hugo Moyano is promoting the strike in a bid to avoid probe
Video stating Florida school shooting survivor is an actor becomes top trending video on site before it is removed
Coalition of opposition parties say elections called by government do not offer them any guarantees
Twelve Palestinian lawmakers remain in Israeli custody
Israeli army frequently carries out wide-ranging arrest campaigns in the West Bank
Controversial gun accessories turn semi-automatic rifles into rapid-fire weapons