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Bahrain declares state of emergency
Tue, 15 Mar 2011 12:19:09 GMT
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Bahraini riot police fire tear gas to disperse anti-government protests along a main highway in Manama, on March 13, 2011.
Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has declared a three-month state of emergency in the country as anti-government protests continue in the Persian Gulf state.

The decision comes as Bahraini Shia majority have voiced readiness to sacrifice their lives in defense of the people's right to hold peaceful protests against Sunni Al Khalifa royal family.

The government's violent crackdown on anti-government demonstrations has been stepped up by a military incursion by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar who dispatched their armed forces to Bahrain.

The move has concerned UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has called for a meaningful and broad-based national dialogue.

He has also urged Bahrain's neighbors and the international community to support a dialogue process and an environment conducive for credible reform in Bahrain.

At least seven people have been killed and hundreds of others injuries in the Bahraini government's violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators.

On Tuesday, military helicopters were hovering over residential areas in Manama and randomly shot at people as reports of more mortalities came from Bahraini medics and hospital sources.

Thousands of Bahraini anti-government protesters are still camping out in Manama's Pearl Square -- which has become the symbol of the popular drive for change. They say they will not abandon their grounds unless their demands are met.

Inspired by the popular revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, Bahraini protesters have been calling for freedom, a constitutional monarchy and a say in the government

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