Bahrain king phones Egyptian military chief

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

MANAMA - Bahraini King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa has telephoned the head of Egypt’s ruling military council, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, a day after 14 people were injured in clashes between police and protesters in Bahrain.

The king hoped Egypt would restore its leading role in the Arab and Muslim world, Xinhua reported citing local daily Al-Ayam.

Hamad had earlier proposed to hold an Arab meeting to discuss the future of the Middle East.

Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces that will run Egypt for six months, is also the defence minister.

At least 14 people were injured in clashes between police and protesters Monday, which the opposition called the “Day of Wrath”.

Skirmishes broke out between heavily armed police and groups of young people, Al Jazeera reported.

Protesters called for a “Day of Rage”, inspired by anti-government uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.

“We are only asking for political reforms, right of political participation, respect for human rights and stropping of systematic discrimination against Shias,” said Nabeel Rajab of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.

Bahrain, the smallest state in the Gulf region, is home to the US Navy’s 5th Fleet.

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