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Kuwait police fire tear gas in clashes over jailed opposition leader

Witnesses say riot police have used tear gas and stun grenades to drive back more than 2,000 protesters demanding the release of a jailed opposition leader.

Wednesday's clash outside a Kuwait City prison underscores the rising tensions in the oil-rich Gulf nation between the Western-backed rulers and opposition factions that include Islamists.

The crowd also marched in defiance of orders banning public gatherings of more than 20 people.

Anti-government groups have denounced the detention of former parliament member Musallam al-Barrack for allegedly insulting Kuwait's emir during protests.

The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals from authorities.

Parliament elections are planned for Dec 1.