EU leader calls for restraint

Feb. 18, 2011 at 11:23 AM
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BRUSSELS, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has called for restraint in Bahrain, where at least five people were killed in clashes with troops.

Bahrain launched the military crackdown after clashes in Yemen and Libya left many people dead, the EUobserver reported Friday.

"The high representative strongly deplores the loss of life and violence and calls for calm and restraint in this situation," said Ashton spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic.

She also called on officials "to fully respect and protect fundamental rights."

In a clash with demonstrators in Bahrain Thursday, troops fired live ammunition and tear gas. Conflicting reports had the death toll between five and 13, with about 200 people injured and dozens arrested.

In Yemen, four people were killed and about 40 others hurt when armed government officials charged protesters.

"Genuine, comprehensive and inclusive national dialogue is the only way forward to make progress on political, economic and social reforms," Kocijancic said in reference to Yemen.

Human Rights Watch said 24 people died in clashes in Libya.

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