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Hamad Town officials vow peace after brawl.

OFFICIALS yesterday played down fears of further clashes between residents in Hamad Town.

Several people were injured after violence flared at Roundabout 7 between Bahrainis and their naturalised counterparts on Thursday night.

Swords and sticks were reportedly used in a mass brawl that involved about 100 residents.

It was the first time clashes have taken place between citizens since the unrest started in Bahrain last month.

The brawl reportedly included naturalised citizens of Syrian origin.

Al Wefaq MP Dr Jassim Hussain, who lives in Hamad Town, dismissed reports that residents armed with sticks and weapons had begun guarding their homes amid fears of further clashes.

He said it was possible there were some isolated cases where residents were taking some extra security measures to protect their homes, but it was not representative of the majority.

"I think a lot has been exaggerated," Dr Hussain told the GDN. "I hope this is a one-off incident.

"People in Hamad Town are from all walks of life coming together and living.

"I hope it was just a misunderstanding."

The MP welcomed the police presence that had been in the area since the brawl and expected it would be needed for some time.

"People are very worried and it has shaken the whole town, but it's life and sometimes things do happen," he said.

"But I strongly believe Hamad Town will overcome this problem and it can be an example for the whole of Bahrain," he added.

Dr Hussain said life was going ahead as normal, but people were still cautious and there would need to be a cooling off period.

"We need a few days, it's not a matter of a day or so," he said.

"But we have to overcome it and we shouldn't allow it to derail and take the country in the wrong direction."

Hamad Town councillor Khalid Al Ka'abi was also unaware of residents taking such extreme measures to protect their homes.

"I think everything is normal, except there are police near the roundabout," he said.

becky@gdn.com.bh

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Mar 6, 2011
Words:354
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