Mar 14 - Analysts say the troop movement signals concern in Saudi Arabia that its own Shi'ite minority could follow the Shi'ite majority in Bahrain. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
▲ Hide Transcript
▶ View Transcript
Saudi troops enter Bahrain.
Bahrain TV shows pictures of a Saudi convoy as it crosses a causeway that joins the world's top oil exporter to the tiny island kingdom.
The vehicles are lightly armed and there were no tanks or missile launchers in the procession.
Analysts view the troop movement as a mark of concern in Saudi Arabia that political concessions by Bahrain's monarchy could embolden the Saudi kingdom's own Shi'ite minority.
The move came after Bahraini police clashed on Sunday with mostly Shi'ite demonstrators in one of the most violent confrontations since troops killed seven protesters last month.
A spokesman representing the Shia calls the Saudi engagement an act of war.
SOUNDBITE: Al-Wefaq spokesperson, Hassan Madan , saying (Arabic):
"This means Bahraini people are under a real threat from fighting against armed forces, without the announcement of war. We consider the crossing of any tank, military or not into Bahrain, or to cross the Bahraini border by sea or land or air, a disgraceful occupation and an a plot against the good unarmed Bahraini people and it goes against international agreements during peace and war.
In Washington White House spokesman Jay Carney says the move was not an invasion.
SOUNDBITE: White House spokesman Jay Carney, saying (English):
"We have seen the reports that you are talking about. This is not an invasion of a country (Reporters interrupting). It is. it is. Correct, and we urge the government of Bahrain, as we have repeatedly, as well as other GCC countries, to exercise restraint and not to meet the non-violent protests of people legitimately expressing their concerns and asking to have their voices heard with--, with any kind of physical violence."
Bahrain has been gripped by its worst unrest since the 1990s after protesters have taken to the streets as members of Bahrain's Shite majority have rallied against the Sunni royal family.
Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.
Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code