News / Middle East

Shots Fired During Iraq-Kuwait Border Protest

Iraqi soldiers conduct a patrol at sunset near the border with Kuwait in this file photo.
Iraqi soldiers conduct a patrol at sunset near the border with Kuwait in this file photo.
Reuters
Kuwait has expressed dismay to the United Nations over a protest by stone-throwing Iraqis against the demarcation of the border, state media reported, underlining lingering tensions between the Arab neighbors a decade after Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

Iraq formally accepted a U.N.-demarcated border line in 1994 after the first Gulf War - when Iraqi strongman Saddam sent his troops into Kuwait in 1990 and was forced out by a U.S.-led coalition.

But many Iraqis in the area remain opposed to it, saying the line robbed them of property and territory.

Iraqi police sources said the protesting crowd hurled stones at Iraqi security forces in the border town of Um Qasr on Monday, prompting the security forces to fire in the air to disperse them. The unrest was triggered by border signs maintenance work nearby, they said.

Kuwaiti border guards, hearing the gunshots and believing they were being targeted, opened fire at Iraqi security forces in response, Kuwaiti media reported. There were no reports of casualties on either side.

Kuwait's Foreign Ministry undersecretary, Khalid al-Jarallah, said his country has submitted a memorandum to the United Nations and to Iraq over the incident, according to Kuwait's state news agency KUNA.

"We have issued a statement expressing our dismay over the irresponsible act,'' he said. "It is an act that runs counter to the nature of brotherly relations between Kuwait and Iraq.''

Kuwait pulled its border guards out of the area after the incident "to calm the situation'', Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai reported on its website.

KUNA said some of the protesting Iraqis had obstructed U.N.-supervised border signs maintenance and removed the border fence between two signs.

 An Iraqi police source told Reuters that one activist was injured in the border unrest.

Leaders of both oil-producing countries have been working to improve ties in the past year, despite public wariness. The nations came to an agreement over Gulf War-era debts last year.

Iraq's foreign and transport ministers travelled on the first flight of state-run Iraqi Airways to Kuwait since 1990 last month, in a symbolic gesture hailed by officials as a sign of improving relations.

Kuwait's ruler and Iraq's prime minister have also visited each other's countries and officials have vowed to work together to maintain border markings.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
March 14, 2013 11:52 AM
We can only guess who/which country is behind this new zone of friction in the ME; as things develop, we are seeing more and more instability in the ME against Sunni Muslim countries. I am surprised that it took this long for this new area of conflict to come about. We seen these conspiratorial forces driving conflicts against Sunni Muslims in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, now Kuwait and so on; essentially as long as these conspiracies can be carried out with impunity, they will not stop.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid