Middle East

Kuwait Warns of Harsher Measures Against Protesters

Showdown between government and Islamic opposition seeing to regain control

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Authorities in Kuwait warned Thursday they will use harsher measures to crack down on anti-government demonstrators defying bans on protest gatherings in the increasingly tense Gulf nation.

The statement came just hours after clashes between security forces and thousands of protesters who had gathered outside a prison in Kuwait City on Wednesday evening to demand the release of an opposition leader, Musallam al-Barrack, who is under investigation for allegedly insulting Kuwait's emir.

Al-Barrack, a former parliament member, was released from custody Thursday on bail of 10,000 dinars (more than $35,500), Kuwait media reported.