Riot police fire tear gas to disperse Kuwait rally

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Kuwait riot police fired tear gas Friday to break up a small, peaceful demonstration by stateless Arabs who were demanding greater rights in the oil-rich Gulf nation.

Police in protective gear advanced on around 200 protesters who had gathered in a district of Kuwait City following morning prayers. They then fired volleys of tear gas at the crowd, sending the group running for cover.

The demonstrations follow protests held by several hundred Kuwaitis Tuesday, who demanded a change of the Gulf state’s prime minister and more political freedom.

The stateless Arabs, known as “bedoun,” are longtime residents of Kuwait. They clashed with police last month demanding citizenship, free education, free healthcare and jobs — benefits which are available to Kuwaiti nationals.

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