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Bahrain Declares State Of Emergency Amid Unrest


A contingent of Persian Gulf troops arrive in Bahrain across a causeway from Saudi Arabia on March 14.

Bahrain's king has declared a three-month state of emergency after an uprising left hundreds reported wounded in clashes between protesters and security forces.

The incidents follow weeks of unrest led mainly by the country's Shi'ite majority.

Demonstrators have called for unity between Sunnis and Shiites in a country that has been ruled by a Sunni dynasty for over 200 years.

The March 15 order comes one day after over 1,000 Saudi troops under the aegis of the Gulf Cooperation Council entered Bahrain at the request of the autocratic Sunni monarchy, in a move condemned by the Iranian government.

The Gulf country is host to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly told Saudi foreign minister in a visit to Egypt on March 15 that the United States' "advice to all sides is that they take steps now to negotiate toward a political resolution."

Bahraini state television had said a member of the security forces was killed in clashes with thousands of protesters in the capital, Manama, denying earlier reports that one Saudi soldier had been shot dead.

compiled from agency reports