Bahraini king declares state of emergency

CBC News – March 15, 2011

Bahrain’s king has imposed a three-month state of emergency in the wake of a pro-democracy uprising that reportedly turned violent Tuesday.

The order, which was read on Bahrain state TV, also gives the country’s military chief wide-ranging powers to battle the uprising.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations dispatched 1,000 police officers to Bahrain on Monday to help it contain an uprising from the Shia-majority population. The United Arab Emirates also sent 500 police officers.

The cross-border operation was perceived as a measure by Gulf Sunni dynasties to prop up Bahrain’s monarchy, due to fears that arch-enemy Iran, a Shia-run power, could increase its influence over the region.

Leaders of other Gulf nations worry that cracks in Bahrain’s political foundation could have a ripple effect at home.

The protests had been largely peaceful, but a security official announced Tuesday that a Saudi soldier — Ahmed al-Raddadi, a sergeant in the military — had been shot by a protester during a confrontation in the capital of Manama.

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