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Dublin: 1°C Wednesday 12 May 2021

Three month long state of emergency declared in Bahrain

Reports that Saudi soldier has been shot dead by Bahraini protester as king announces martial law.

A Bahraini anti-government protester in Manama yesterday, demonstrating ahead of the arrival of Saudi troops.
A Bahraini anti-government protester in Manama yesterday, demonstrating ahead of the arrival of Saudi troops.
Image: AP Photo/Hasan Jamali

THE KING OF BAHRAIN has imposed a three-month state of emergency and introduced martial law as protests persist in the kingdom.

Reading a statement on Bahraini TV today, the Saudi king announced new measures authorising the country’s armed forces “to take necessary steps to restore national security”.

A Bahraini parliamentary group had appealed to the king earlier to introduce martial law.

Yesterday, around 1,000 Saudi troops and 500 UAE police entered Bahrain to help bolster the ruling monarchy against the demonstrations.

A Saudi official said today that a Bahraini protester had shot a Saudi soldier dead, which would mark a significant escalation in the protest violence. The Wall Street Journal said the official declined to give further details and said the kingdom was investigating the incident.

The introduction of foreign troops is the first cross-border military action since unrest erupted in the Arab world three months ago, and has been criticised by Iran. A government spokesperson in Tehran said the presence of foreign troops in Bahrain was “unacceptable” and warned it would further complicate problems in the kingdom.

Meanwhile, the Formula 1 race planned for Bahrain last weekend – cancelled weeks ago due to the political unrest – now looks unlikely to feature in the 2011 race calendar at all, according to Autosport. F1 officials had given Bahrain until the start of May for the situation to settle down, but the state of emergency is declared for beyond that timeframe.

- Additional reporting by the AP

Read: Saudi troops arrive in Bahrain to help monarchy tackle protests >

Read: Irish government advises against all non-essential travel to Bahrain >

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