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Kuwaiti MPs Duke It Out Over 'Terrorist' Insult

Kuwaiti MPs duke it out when Guantanamo Bay detainees called "terrorists" in the plenum.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 5/18/2011, 6:51 PM / Last Update: 5/18/2011, 9:56 PM

Kuwait's parliament is on hiatus until end of the month after an unprecedented fisticuffs broke out in the plenum Wednesday when one MP referred to Kuwaitis detained at Guantanamo Bay as "Terrorists," the Al Aan news portal reported.

Parliamentary Guards Break Up the Brouhaha

“I am so sorry about what happened," Parliament Speaker Jasem Al Khorafi said as he announced the decision not to convene the parliament until May 31. "This is unprecedented in the parliament since its inception and such despicable behavior does not honor us in any way and does not reflect the dignity of the parliament,”

Earlier, MP Rawdhan Al Rawdhan had called for the suspension of the parliament for one month.

“We need time for the fight to settle down,” Rawdhan Al Rawdhan tol Al Aan. “What happened today is despicable and does not honor Kuwait."

The fight broke out after a heated exchange between lawmakers over remarks made about the Kuwaitis detained at Guantanamo Bay. The session was debating the status of the detainees when MP Husain Al Gallaf called them “terrorists.”

Al Gallaf's decription sparked protests from MPs Mohammad Hayef, Falah Al Sawwagh, Waleed Al Tabtabai and Jamaan Al Harbash who called for his microphone to be turned off.

The ensuing argument turned into a violent uproar and Abdullah Al Roumi, the deputy speaker, opted to suspend the session temporarily to calm the situation.

However, the lawmakers who objected to Al Gallaf’s description of the detainees, used the occasion to surround him and argue with him.

In the ensuing scuffle, Al Gallaf was knocked to the ground by one of the MPs, reportedly for making threats with a stick, and MP Adnan Al Mutawa received a punch under his eye requiring medical treatment. MP Salem Al Namlan was reportedly also hurt.

Kuwait's prime minister indirectly referred to the scuffle in a statement on state news agency KUNA that "expressed sorrow at the incident" in the National Assembly.

The prime minister, Sheik Nasser Al Mohammed Al Sabah, called on lawmakers to set aside their differences and focus on national unity.