By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Bahrain’s king has declared a three-month state of emergency, following weeks of unrest in the Gulf island kingdom.
State television said an order by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa authorized the country’s security forces to take charge for the next three months, beginning today.
The decision came after more than 1,000 Saudi troops under the aegis of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) entered Bahrain on March 14 at the request of the Sunni monarchy.
Meanwhile, reports quoting unnamed Saudi officials said one Saudi soldier was shot dead today by a demonstrator during a protest in the capital, Manama.
Bahrain — which hosts the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet — has been confronted with weeks of protests mainly staged by the country’s Shi’ite majority.