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British-trained Saudi troops in Bahrain: report.

Saudi troops sent into Bahrain to help cancel the protest killed at least 30 people in the uprising received training from Britain, a local newspaper reported on Sunday, citing government documents.

According to the documents obtained by <em>The Observer</em>&nbsp;newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act, the Saudi Arabian National Guard was given weapons and public order training by a British military operation.

In March, a Saudi-led Gulf force, including United Arab Emirates police, entered Bahrain after Shiite protesters grew bolder against their Sunni rulers in the Shiite-majority Arab state ruled by a Sunni Muslim monarchy.

About 20 training teams are sent to Saudi Arabia per year,<em>&nbsp;The Observer</em>&nbsp;said.

British workforce on a regular basis run courses for the selected National Guard in "weapons, field craft and general military skills training, as well as incident handling, bomb disposal, search, public order and sniper training", said the documents.

"Some members of the Saudi force arranged in Bahrain may have undergone some British training," junior defence minister Nick Harvey told parliament last week.

"The UK provides best defence training and education, including in the Gulf, creating long-lasting ties between our armed forces," a spokesman said.

The Gulf States are key partners in the fight against terrorism.

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 allowed them to develop plans to help contain the popular uprising in Bahrain."
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:May 29, 2011
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