Bahrain, Gulf allies, "on the wrong track": Clinton

Hillary Clinton said that it was wrong to send troops to tackle protesters.

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2011, 23:08 PM IST

Cairo: Bahrain and its allies who have sent troops to help it put down anti-government demonstrations are on the wrong track, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a television interview on Wednesday.

Bahraini forces backed by helicopters launched a crackdown on protesters on Wednesday, imposing a curfew and clearing hundreds from a camp that had become the symbol of an uprising by the Shi`ite Muslim majority.

"We find what`s happening in Bahrain alarming. We think that there is no security answer to the aspirations and demands of the demonstrators," Clinton told CBS in an interview, urging Bahrain to negotiate a political agreement with demonstrators.

"There is no security answer to this," she said according to a pool reporter who attended the interview.

"We have also made that very clear to our Gulf partners who are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council, four of whose members have sent troops to support the Bahraini government. They are on the wrong track," Clinton said.

Hospital sources said three policemen and three protesters were killed in the assault that began a day after Bahrain declared martial law to quell sectarian unrest that has sucked in troops from fellow Sunni-ruled neighbor Saudi Arabia.

"We have made it very clear to the Bahraini government at the highest levels that we expect them to exercise restraint, we would remind them of their humanitarian obligation to keep medical facilities open and to facilitate the treatment of the injured, and to get back to the negotiating table," she said.

Bureau Report