A Saudi Arabian official says about 1,000 Saudi troops have entered the neighboring island state of Bahrain to help its minority Sunni rulers boost security after weeks of anti-government protests.
The official says the Saudi troops that crossed into Bahrain late Sunday and early Monday are part of a regional force set up by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. There was no immediate confirmation from Bahrain’s government. But a Bahraini newspaper linked to the ruling al-Khalifa family reported Monday that a GCC force was expected to arrive in the country.
Earlier, pro-government Bahraini lawmakers urged the government to impose martial law to put an end to a month of protests by majority Shi’ites demanding a greater political voice in the country’s affairs.
The state-run Bahrain News Agency said the lawmakers want King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa to enforce martial law for three months and impose a curfew to protect peace and stability.