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Thu 25 Jul 2013 01:46 PM

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Violence could see Bahrain parliament recalled

MPs called on king for extraordinary session to deal with ‘unprecedented’ violence

Violence could see Bahrain parliament recalled

A large block of Bahraini MPs has demanded King Hamad recall the National Assembly for an urgent session to discuss a "dangerous escalation in violence”.

Parliament is on summer recess until October but the MPs claim the political turmoil in the country has reached "unprecedented levels" and fear it could affect the Gulf state’s future economic and social progress if it is not urgently addressed, Gulf Daily News reported.

On Wednesday they submitted a letter to parliament chairman Dr Khalifa Al Dhahrani, who passed on the request to the Royal Court.

A minimum of 21 MPs are required to recall the assembly during a break and it also must be approved by King Hamad.

The concerns come a week after a bomb exploded outside a Sunni mosque as worshippers attended late-night prayers in a district where members of Bahrain's royal family live.

Five Bahrainis have been arrested over the blast.

No one was reported hurt in the attack, in what government officials said was an attempt to inflame sectarian tensions.

Bahrain, a majority Shi'ite country but ruled by the Sunni Al Khalifa family, has been rocked by political unrest since 2011, with mostly Shi'ite Bahrainis agitating for democratic reforms and more say in government.

"The political turmoil in Bahrain has reached unprecedented and unexpected levels that has to be addressed before they further escalate beyond repair," Bahrain Bloc MP Ahmed Al Saati said in support of holding an extraordinary assembly session.

"Terrorist activities are being increased and there is no clear picture on how Bahrain would look in the future with continuous incitements of hatred and violence.

"We have requested an extraordinary session to get to the bottom of this saga, which is a challenge we will win as we try to restore peace and stability to the country.”

The proposal also was backed by Shoura Council foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, who said assembly, which includes both parliament and the Shoura Council, needed to debate potential solutions and vote on legal decrees that could address violence and incitement.

The top official also said the Shura Council condemned the "dangerous escalation which aims to drag the country into the cycle of unrest and political tensions that serve foreign goals".

If approved, it would be only the second extraordinary session during recess in parliament's 11-year history, Gulf Daily News said. The last time MPs convened during their break was nine years ago in the midst of an Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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