British government says unrest 'likely' in Bahrain

Dec. 17, 2013 at 12:55 PM
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LONDON, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The British government said Tuesday it was advising its citizens in Bahrain to be on alert given the potential for violent anti-government demonstrations.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said it received word that demonstrations were planned in Busaiteen, a small town in northern Bahrain.

"Times and places are unknown but are likely to be in and around villages after dark," the warning said.

There were no reports of unrest Tuesday from the official Bahrain News Agency. The British government has nonetheless issued regular alerts warning of the potential for demonstrations in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

"There could be clashes between government security forces and protesters," Tuesday's warning read.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was in Bahrain recently to express his support for the kingdom. Bahrain hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

Washington was criticized for taking a soft line when Bahrain was accused of using force against anti-government protesters in 2011.

Bahrain said it's committed to reforms outlined by an independent panel of inquiry, which examined the government's response to an uprising that left dozens of people dead.

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