The United States on Wednesday urged Bahrain to exercise restraint and allow peaceful protests, condemning a new outbreak of unrest in the US-allied Sunni Muslim-led kingdom.
"We are deeply concerned about the increase in violence in Bahrain," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, voicing hope that authorities would stay true to pledges to hold those responsible to account.
"We condemn the use of violence in all its forms -- whether against peaceful demonstrators or police and government institutions -- and urge all parties to reject such actions," Nuland said in a statement.
"We call on the government of Bahrain to permit peaceful protest and to exercise maximum restraint in maintaining order, just as we call on all those demonstrating to do so peacefully," she said.
The Gulf state's Shiite majority claims marginalization and disenfranchisement by the Sunni regime. New clashes erupted after a Shiite, 36-year-old Salah Abbas Habib, was found dead over the weekend.
Authorities have since sealed off the village of Diraz after what official media said was a "terrorist explosion" that wounded four Bahraini policemen.
The new unrest came after the country controversially staged the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix, a year after the event was canceled amid the crackdown on protests that an independent probe said left more than 35 people dead.
Source: AFP American Edition