US urges Bahrain to show restraint
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged Bahrain to show restraint after a violent police raid on anti-government protesters left four people dead and scores wounded.
Clinton told Bahrain’s foreign minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa to bolster reform efforts and "hold accountable" those who used deadly force against the protesters.
"I stressed the need to seriously engage all sectors of society in a constructive, consultative dialogue to meet the way forward in accordance with the aspirations of the people,” Clinton said.
Bahrain is the home of the US Fifth Fleet and neighbor of another leading US ally, Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, a White House spokesperson told reporters that US President Barack Obama opposed the use of violence by the government of Bahrain against peaceful protesters.
Bahrain’s army deployed armoured vehicles in the centre of the capital Manama on Thursday after cracking down on pro-democracy protesters.
Inspired by regime change in Tunisia and Egypt, thousands of people had gathered on Bahrain’s streets calling for a number of demsands, including a “real constitutional monarchy”, in the small Gulf state.
At least five people have died since protests started in Bahrain on 14 February.
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