Pentagon calls for restraint in Bahrain

08:53, February 18, 2011      

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The U.S. Defense Department on Thursday called on all parties in Bahrain to exercise restraint and refrain from violence, a Pentagon spokesman said.

The United States is closely watching developments in the tiny Gulf country, where a wave of anti-government protests calling for political and economic reforms have erupted, the spokesman said.

Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, is ruled by the Sunni Muslim al-Khalifa family where the majority Shiite population said they face discrimination in jobs and other services. The kingdom denies the claims.

Bahrain has embarked on a host of measures such as higher social spending. On Friday the Bahraini king gave each family 1,000 dinars (2,700 U.S. dollars).

Source: Xinhua

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