Shiite and Sunni MPs in parliamentary fistfight

May 18, 2011 12:00 am

, KUWAIT CITY, May 18 – Shiite and Sunni Islamist Kuwaiti MPs fought with fists in parliament Wednesday during a heated debate over Kuwaiti inmates in the US Guantanamo Bay detention centre.

The parliament was holding a debate over two Kuwaiti detainees in the US prison camp in Cuba when Shiite MP Hussein al-Kallaf provoked some Sunni fellow MPs by dismissing the prisoners as "Al-Qaeda" militants.

Chaos erupted when Jamaan al-Harish representing the Muslim Brotherhood replied to Kallaf saying that the session was not called to discuss Al-Qaeda but Guantanamo prisoners.

Two Shiite and four Sunni lawmakers were involved in the fight prompting MP Abdullah al-Rumi to adjourn the session.

The debate was attended by a delegation of US lawyers defending the inmates.

Kuwait on December 1 disowned comments attributed to its interior minister calling for the death of its nationals held at Guantanamo Bay.

Interior Minister Sheikh Jaber was quoted by WikiLeaks as telling the US ambassador that his country did not want to see the return of the Kuwaiti suspects and suggested "the best thing to do is get rid of them."

The exchange between Sheikh Jaber and the US envoy to Kuwait, took place in February 2009 and was recorded in a US State Department cable published by WikiLeaks.

The Gulf country\’s foreign minister had insisted, however, that "it is impossible to think that Kuwait will ever forget about its sons … detained in Guantanamo without trial."


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