Bahrain interior minister Sheikh Rashed bin Abdullah al-Khalifa told parliament on Tuesday that 24 people were killed in Bahrain in a month of unrest and anti-regime protests allegedly linked to Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
The breakdown was as follows:
7 innocent civilians
13 protesters who took part in violence and vandalism
In addition to the killings he said
391 policemen were wounded
56 Bahraini and other nationals.
4 policemen were kidnapped and tortured
The interior minister accused the predominantly Shiite protesters of being linked to the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, “as proven by the demonstrators’ methods as well as statements of support from the Lebanese Shiite group and Tehran.”
“All this reveals a link and the training style of Hezbollah,” he said.
Kuwaiti newspaper As-Seyyasah reported last Thursday”:
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are heading toward “making a collective decision to expel all Lebanese Shiites who are connected to Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.”
“ These states received proven reports from Bahraini, French, and US intelligence that Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard members are, along with local religious figures, leading the protests in Bahrain and eastern Saudi Arabia,” the daily quoted an anonymous Arab diplomat as saying.
During a televised speech via video link earlier this month Hezbollah ’s Hassan Nasarllah called the events in Bahrain a “special injustice”. Nasrallah asked whether Arab silence about the repression of protests there is due to sectarian prejudice against the Shiite-majority opposition.
“I ask some in the Arab and Islamic worlds: Why have you remained mum over the tyranny against our people in Bahrain, is it only because they are Shiites?”
He also said Hezbollah is ready to help the protesters.
Many Lebanese in Bahrain are now reportedly facing problems with their residence visas according to reports coming from Manama.
Bahrain NATIONAL carrier Gulf Air suspended all flights between Bahrain and Lebanon effective Tuesday March 22, in response to the speech of the Hezbollah leader .
The action by the Bahrain national carrier came after Bahrain issued a travel advisory banning all its citizens from traveling to Lebanon and also urged its citizens that are living in Lebanon to leave immediately for security reasons.
A Bahrain official was reported as saying last week:
” Bahrain’s decision to suspend flights to Iran, Iraq and Lebanon and its condemnation of remarks by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah had “paved the way for the deportation of thousands of Lebanese Shiites from the Gulf.”
Bahrain’s parliament on Tuesday accepted the resignations of 11 Shiite MPs who resigned over the use of force against demonstrators, in a vote exposing them to possible legal action.
The house in a unanimous vote “accepted the resignations of 11 MPs of Al-Wefaq,” which with 18 seats makes up the largest bloc in the 40-member parliament of the Shiite -majority state, official news agency BNA said.
It said that parliament decided to postpone a vote on the other seven members of Al-Wefaq, which heads the opposition in the Gulf country ruled by a Sunni royal family.
Photo: Bahraini Shiite Muslims protest outside the Ministry of Interior in the capital Manama on March 2.