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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 April, 2005, 13:28 GMT 14:28 UK
Bangladeshis storm Kuwait embassy
Kuwaiti security guard outside attacked Bangladesh embassy
The workers forced their way past security guards
More than 700 Bangladeshi workers have stormed their country's embassy in Kuwait, causing damage inside.

The rioters also slightly injured two Bangladeshi civilians who were visiting the embassy, Ambassador Nazrul Islam Khan told the BBC.

The embassy called the police, who managed to restore order and arrested some of the workers. The others fled.

Mr Islam told the BBC Bengali service that the motive for the attack was linked to wages not being paid.

Few rights

The workers were employed by a Kuwaiti cleaning company and destroyed furniture, windows and documents, a security officer at the scene told the AFP news agency.

A spokesman for the protesters is reported to have complained that they had not been paid for the last five months.

Car damaged in attack on Bangladesh embassy in Kuwait
Damage around the embassy was extensive

Diplomats and staff at the embassy, located in Surrah, 10km (six miles) south of Kuwait City, were not hurt but several fled towards a nearby police station.

The BBC's Gulf correspondent Julia Wheeler says that the workers were able to get inside the building and damage property.

Estimates put the number of Bangladeshis working in the Gulf state at more than 150,000.

Most work in menial jobs, many as cleaners. They have few rights, but provide much needed foreign income to their families at home.

Bangladesh is a country where the United Nations estimates around half the 130 million population earns about a dollar a day.

Throughout the Gulf, so-called guest workers often make complaints to their own embassies about not being paid.

Our correspondent says that they are fearful of losing their jobs if they complain directly to their employers.




SEE ALSO:
Asians stay in Gulf despite war
20 Mar 03 |  South Asia
Dhaka discusses women migrants
20 Oct 02 |  South Asia
Kuwait hangs maid murderers
30 Jun 02 |  Middle East
Deadline for Kuwait's stateless
27 Jun 00 |  Middle East


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