Kuwaiti police clash with stateless protestors, dozens injured
Kuwaiti police on Friday used tear gas and water canons to disperse stateless protesters demanding citizenship in northwest Kuwait City, leaving dozens of people injured, Xinhua reported.
Kuwait's interior ministry said 21 policemen were injured in the clashes during a demonstration by hundreds of stateless Arabs, who were locally called "bedoon".
The ministry did not say how many protestors were injured.
Witnesses said dozens of protestors were arrested during the confrontation in the Jahra area, which is 40 km northwest of Kuwait City.
The rally came despite stern warnings from the interior ministry against demonstrations and the promise on Sunday by officials to grant citizenship to bedoons who meet criteria stipulated by the authorities.
Oil-rich Kuwait houses around 100,000 bedoons who have been stripped of citizenship and all kinds of basic social rights.
The Kuwaiti government said the ancestors of these stateless Arabs came from neighboring countries after oil wealth was discovered in the desert nation and destroyed their passports or identity cards to demand Kuwaiti citizenship.
The stateless Arabs have been holding sporadic demonstrations since February 2011 to demand basic rights.