Indian national killed in crossfire in Bahrain



New Delhi: An Indian national was killed in a crossfire in Bahrain, which is witnessing protests for the past several weeks, even as India advised its nationals there to stock up big on rations and not to go out of their homes, saying the situation was "tense but calm".

"Stephen Abraham of India, caught in a crossfire in Bahrain, loses his life. Our Emb (embassy) in touch with Bah. (Bahrain) authorities who r (are) cooperative," an official spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs tweeted.

Apart from advising its nationals, whose presence is not necessary in Bahrain, to consider leaving that country, the Ministry of External Affairs has already asked Indians to keep a low profile, stay indoors and to avoid all non-essential travel within the country.

"Situation tense but calm. Stock up big on rations. Absolutely stay indoors. We will get thru (through) this together," India's Ambassador to Bahrain Mohan Kumar tweeted.

40-year-old Abraham, working as a private security officer in Bahrain's capital Manama, was killed in firing allegedly by military personnel engaged in tackling protesters in the Gulf state, a family member said.

An ex-service man, the victim was standing on the terrace of a building at Manama when Bahrain security personnel reportedly fired at him during an air surveillance of pro-reform protesters, who had gathered on the streets on Wednesday evening, his brother Shaju Abraham said from his home at Pathanamthitta.

Stephen had been working in Bahrain for a year, after his retirement from the Indian Army.

The news came as a big shock to the family including his wife and children, who are living at their home in Pramadam near Pathanamthitta town.

Bahrain has nearly 300,000 Indians, making them the single largest expatriate community in the tiny Gulf country.

Bahrain is witnessing protests over the last several weeks, with the demonstrators alleging discrimination and lack of rights and seeking political reforms including restricting the country's monarchy to a constitutional role only.

IANS