Hillary urges Bahrain to show restraint: US official

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced concern over unrest in US Gulf ally Bahrain and urged restraint when she spoke today to Manama`s Foreign Minister, a US official said.

Last Updated: Feb 17, 2011, 23:03 PM IST

Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton voiced concern over unrest in US Gulf ally Bahrain and
urged restraint when she spoke today to Manama`s Foreign
Minister, a US official said.

In the phone call with her Bahraini counterpart Sheikh
Khaled bin Ahmad al-Khalifa, Clinton "expressed deep concern
about recent events and urged restraint moving forward," a
State Department official said.

Bahrain`s military deployed armoured vehicles in the
centre of the capital Manama and vowed to restore order today
after a violent police raid on anti-regime protesters left
four people dead and scores wounded.

Hillary and Sheikh Khaled also "discussed political
and economic reform efforts to respond to the citizens of
Bahrain," the US official added.

Inspired by protests that toppled presidents in
Tunisia and Egypt, thousands of people have taken to Bahrain`s
streets to call for a change of regime and a "real
constitutional monarchy" in the Sunni-led but Shiite-majority
country.

The White House said yesterday it was watching the
unrest in Bahrain "very closely" and called on the pro-Western
kingdom to allow peaceful anti-government protests.

Bahrain serves as headquarters for a pillar of
American military power, the US Navy`s Fifth Fleet, which
commands a rotating flotilla of vessels charged with
safeguarding oil shipping lanes in the Gulf and countering
Iran.

PTI