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UK training Saudi forces used to crush Arab spring.

London, May 29 (ANI): Britain is training Saudi Arabia's national guard - the elite security force deployed during the recent protests in Bahrain - in public order enforcement measures and the use of sniper rifles.

According to The Guardian, in response to questions made under the Freedom of Information Act, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed that British personnel regularly run courses for the national guard in "weapons, field craft and general military skills training, as well as incident handling, bomb disposal, search, public order and sniper training".

The courses are organised through the British Military Mission to the Saudi Arabian National Guard, an obscure unit that consists of 11 British army personnel under the command of a brigadier.

The MoD response, obtained yesterday by the Observer, reveals that Britain sends up to 20 training teams to the kingdom a year. Saudi Arabia pays for "all BMM personnel, as well as support costs such as accommodation and transport".

Analysts believe the Saudi royal family is desperate to shore up its position in the region by preserving existing regimes in the Gulf that will help check the increasing power of Iran.

Defence minister Nick Harvey confirmed to parliament last week that the UK's armed forces provided training to the Saudi National Guard.

A MoD spokesman described the Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia, as "key partners" in the fight against terrorism. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:May 29, 2011
Words:245
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