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Anti-uprising force 'trained by UK'.

Summary: The Saudi Arabian National Guard sent into Bahrain to crush a popular uprising reportedly received training from the British military.

The Saudi Arabian National Guard sent into Bahrain to crush a popular uprising received training from the British military, it has been reported.

The training, which included weapons and public order was organised by the British Military Mission to the Saudi Arabian National Guard, according to documents obtained by The Observer under the Freedom of Information Act.

The secretive group is said to consist of 11 British army staff under the command of a brigadier.

The disclosure, which has provoked criticism from human rights campaigners, comes amid criticism that the Government has not been as tough in tackling the Bahraini and Syrian ruling regimes as it has in taking on Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

Nicholas Gilby of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade said: "Britain's important role in training the Saudi Arabian National Guard in internal security over many years has enabled them to develop tactics to help suppress the popular uprising in Bahrain."

The Ministry of Defence stressed that British involvement in training foreign forces was intended to engender a culture of respect for human rights.

A spokesman said: "The UK provides world-class defence training and education to many countries, including in the Gulf, creating lasting ties between our armed forces and enhancing their ability to work together towards regional security and stability."

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2011. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Jun 2, 2011
Words:260
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