London worried by violence in Bahrain

March 29, 2011 at 1:01 PM
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LONDON, March 29 (UPI) -- The British government announced that its nationals in Bahrain need to be on alert and avoid large crowds because of the ongoing risk of violence.

Citing an easing of turmoil, Bahrain shortened a curfew on a major road during the weekend and some schools reopened this week.

Bahrain, however, declared a state of emergency during the height of conflict between the Shiite majority and members of the state security forces. The government was condemned by human rights officials at the United Nations for allegedly blocking area hospitals.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it was reminding its citizens in the kingdom to stay on high alert. "The risk of outbreaks of violence is ongoing and the security situation remains uncertain," the warning read.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke with Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa by phone Sunday, however, reaffirming U.S. support for the prince's efforts to engage the opposition in negotiations on political reform, the White House said in a statement.

Bahrain is host to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

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