Britons told to avoid Bahrain as fresh clashes erupt

Foreign Office says Saudi soldiers may enter country to intervene in revolt
Britons told to avoid Bahrain as fresh clashes erupt
Thousands of demonstrators on Sunday cut off Bahrains financial centre and drove back police trying to eject them from the capitals central square
By Joanne Bladd
Mon 14 Mar 2011 10:01 AM

Britons have been advised not to travel to Bahrain after a
fresh wave of protests swept the Gulf island on Sunday, sparking violent
clashes between police and demonstrators.

The Foreign Office warned against all travel to the kingdom
and urged UK nationals in Bahrain to remain at home until further notice.

In a statement, it
also said there were fresh reports that Saudi soldiers were about to
enter the country to intervene in the revolt.

“The risk of further outbreaks of violence has increased,”
the statement said.

Thousands of
demonstrators on Sunday cut off Bahrain's financial centre and drove back
police trying to eject them from the capital's central square, in one of the
most violent confrontations since the military killed seven protesters on
February 17.

Police fired tear
gas and water cannons at the crowds who erected barricades across the
highway after overwhelming riot police near Manama’s Pearl roundabout.

Bahrain, which is connected to Saudia Arabia via a sea causeway, has been
gripped by its worst unrest since the 1990s after protesters took to the
streets last month, inspired by uprisings that toppled the leaders in Egypt and
Tunisia.

The kingdom has seen weeks of rallies by its
disgruntled Shi'ite majority, which says it is discriminated against by the
Sunni royal family.

 

*With agencies

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