U.S. authorizes departure of military family members from Bahrain

16:33, March 17, 2011      

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The U.S. Department of Defense authorized the departure for its non-essential civilian personnel and eligible family members from Bahrain, said an official statement issued late Wednesday.

The announcement was made amid ongoing demonstrations and continued unrest the kingdom.

According to the statement, the United States is not evacuating the military family members but authorizing voluntary departure.

"U.S. service members and family members are not being evacuated. The demonstrations have not been directed at the U.S. Navy or U.S. personnel, and there have been no reports of injuries to U.S. citizens," it said, noting "the authorized departure is designed to facilitate the departure of those families who choose to depart Bahrain."

The operations of U.S. Navy Fifth fleet stationed in Juffair and the Naval Support Activity Bahrain base will remain normal, said the statement.

The U.S. Naval base in Juffair, a recently developed district in the capital, is home to over 3,000 naval and civilian personnel.

Source: Xinhua

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