- - Tuesday, December 11, 2012

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Eight policemen have been charged with torturing detainees in the wake of last year’s crackdown on Shiite-led protests against the Sunni monarchy, Bahrain’s public prosecution said Monday.

“Five cases have been referred to special courts after charging eight policemen, including a lieutenant,” the prosecution said in a statement carried by the BNA state news agency.

The charges range from “using torture to force a defendant to confess, to causing a permanent disability, as well as insults and physical assaults.”

In September, a policeman was sentenced to seven years for killing a protester during the monthlong protests that were brutally quelled in mid-March 2011.

The authorities say they are implementing the recommendations of an independent commission called for by the king that confirmed allegations of excessive use of force by security forces during the uprising.

Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, still witnesses sporadic Shiite-led demonstrations, mostly outside the capital.


Gunmen kill guardsman in attack on border patrol

TUNIS — Armed men killed a Tunisian national guardsman near the Algerian border, the state news agency reported Monday.

Four gunmen opened fire on a guard patrol in the area of Dernaya in Tunisia’s Kasserine province, wounding one guardsman who later died at a hospital.

The report said the men had infiltrated the country from Algeria and reinforcements have been sent to the area. The report did not specify the identity of the men, but local media described them as Islamists.

On Saturday, two Tunisians were arrested carrying explosives and automatic weapons near the Algerian border.


King releases 116 jailed during fuel-price protests

AMMAN — King Abdullah II has ordered the release of 116 people arrested during violent protests last month against fuel price increases, the official Petra news agency reported.

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