World News

Kuwait says navy heading to Bahrain soon: ambassador

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait’s navy plans to head to Bahrain soon to protect the Gulf Arab island nation’s waters, Kuwait’s ambassador to Bahrain was quoted as saying on Thursday.

On Monday, Bahrain asked for support under a Gulf defense pact after weeks of protests by pro-democracy activists, mainly majority Shi’ites who complain of discrimination by a Sunni monarchy.

The ambassador, Sheikh Azzam al-Sabah, was cited by Kuwait’s Watan news service, which gave no further details. Kuwaiti officials could immediately not be reached for comment.

Some 1,000 Saudi soldiers and 500 police officers from the United Arab Emirates entered Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Fifth Fleet, earlier this week as Bahraini security forces led a crackdown on protests that have been going on for over a month.

The leader of Bahrain’s largest opposition group on Thursday urged Saudi Arabia to withdraw its forces and called for a U.N. inquiry into a crackdown on mainly Shi’ite protesters that has raised tensions in the oil-exporting region.

Reporting by Eman Goma; Editing by Louise Ireland