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Bahrain under emergency rule, Indians safe

March 16, 2011 01:55 IST
Bahrain's monarch on Tuesday declared a three-month state of emergency, amid growing pro-democracy protests in the country, forcing it to invite troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to quell the unrest.

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issued a decree declaring what it called a three-month state of national safety in light of the worsening security situation in the country.

However, Indians working in the country hit by protests are reported to be safe and are keeping a low-profile waiting for things to improve. The Indian embassy officials said they have set an emergency helpline but things are largely under control. Most of the phones, including that of the Indian ambassador in Bahrain, were unreachable.

Bahrain is home to the United States Fifth Fleet and major international banks and finance institutions. The king's decree said that the decision has been taken following a worsening security situation that posed a serious threat to the citizens' lives.

King Hamad has delegated the commander-in-chief of the Bahrain Defence Force to take the necessary measures in order to implement the decree.

Meanwhile, the country's Representatives Council welcomed the deployment of the Gulf Cooperation Council troops -- sent by Saudi Arabia and the UAE -- in order to help maintain security, safety and stability the kingdom in line with the Common Defence Agreement signed between the GCC states. The council stressed the need to enforce law and stop anarchy before starting the process of dialogue.

The UAE on Monday dispatched security forces to Bahrain to help in the country's bid to maintain law and order. UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash said that the forces have been sent in response to Bahrain's request for help in restoring order following protests and clashes.

Saudi Arabia said it had responded to a call for help from its neighbour under a mutual defence pact of the six-country GCC.
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