Bahrain minister says 24 people dead in uprisings

Interior minister says nearly 450 others injured during weeks of political unrest in the kingdom
Bahrain minister says 24 people dead in uprisings
Protester generic
By Andy Sambidge
Tue 29 Mar 2011 08:03 PM

Bahrain's Interior Minister said on Tuesday that a total of 24 people had been killed in the uprisings in the kingdom.

Lieutenant General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said that four security officers, seven civilians and 13 protesters had perished in the weeks of unrest.

Speaking before the parliament, he said the deaths were regrettable, adding that some 391 security officers and 56 citizens and expatriates were also injured while four other security officers were "abducted and tortured".

The minister insisted the government crackdown was not sectarian but were intended "against law offenders and have nothing to do with ethnic cleansing", state news agency BNA reported.

He blamed foreign interference for many of the troubles in Bahrain.

Bahrain declared martial law on March 15 after troops from Saudi Arabia and the UAE arrived to help quell protests that have gripped the Gulf state for more than a month.

The army on March 19 demolished the 300ft monument on the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, which had become a focal point for protesters.

Earlier this month, Bahrain's Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa said his country would emerge stronger from the uprisings.

He said the kingdom would "overcome the current circumstance" thanks to the wise leadership of King Hamad as well as the "resolve and patriotism of the Bahraini people".

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