Publisher: AFP, Agence France Presse
Author: By Omar Hasan
Story date: 16/11/2011
KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait — Thousands of Kuwaitis stormed parliament on Wednesday after police and elite forces beat up protesters marching on the prime minister's home to demand he resign, an opposition MP said.
"Now, we have entered the house of the people," said Mussallam al-Barrak, who led the protest along with several other lawmakers and youth activists also calling for the dissolution of parliament over alleged corruption.
The demonstrators broke open parliament's gates and entered the main chamber, where they sang the national anthem and then left after a few minutes.
The police had used batons to prevent protesters from marching to the residence of Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, a senior member of the ruling family, after staging a rally outside parliament.
Witnesses said at least five demonstrators were injured and treated on the site.
Some activists said they will continue to camp outside parliament until the premier is sacked.
Chanting "the people want to remove the prime minister," the protesters started to march to the nearby premier's residence when police blocked their way.
This was the first political violence in the oil-rich Gulf state since December, when elite forces beat up protesters and MPs at a public rally, though activists have been holding protests since March.
Tension has been building in Kuwait over the past three months after it was alleged that about 16 MPs in the 50-member parliament received about $350 million (259 million euros) in bribes.
The opposition has been leading a campaign to oust the premier, whom they accuse of failing to run the wealthy nation and fight corruption, which has become wide-spread.
Earlier on Wednesday, about 20 opposition lawmakers boycotted a parliamentary session, a day after the government and its supporters succeeded in rejecting a bid by the opposition to quiz the premier over allegations of corruption.
After the rejection, three opposition MPs filed a fresh request to question Sheikh Nasser over allegations of graft involving MPs and illegal overseas money transfers.
The premier, 71, has been a target of opposition criticism since he was appointed to the job in February 2006, forcing him to resign six times.
Parliament has also been dissolved three times in the same period.
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