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Bahrain objects to political violence

Feb. 15, 2013 at 11:01 AM

MANAMA, Bahrain, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- The government of Bahrain said any party or group with real political demands should avoid using violence to pursue their objectives.

Bahrain's Justice Minister Khalid bin Ali al-Khalifa said he was concerned by the increase in violence as Bahrainis marked the second anniversary of the start of an uprising against the Sunni-led monarchy.

The official Bahrain News Agency said the minister stressed "the government's resolve to prevent using violence as a tool to pressurize decisions" and called on "anyone who has got real demands" to avoid further conflict.

Human rights groups have questioned Bahrain's pledges for political dialogue and reform. The government said it's committed to a reform agenda spelled out by an independent committee of inquiry tasked with probing the 2011 crackdown.

Dozens of demonstrators were killed during the uprising. Several opposition leaders are in prison.

Khalifa said dialogue was the "civilized" way to pursue political objectives.

The BBC reports that thousands of anti-government protesters took to the streets Friday in a second day of protests. One activist was killed Thursday and the British broadcaster states a policeman was killed in an "unprovoked attack" by demonstrators that same day.

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