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At least five arrested as thousands rally in Kuwait

Published on Oct 16, 2012 1:12 PM

KUWAIT (REUTERS) - 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.

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