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Bahrain to train Afghan soldiers

Bahrain's security forces are to be deployed to Afghanistan in order to train Afghan forces, as part of Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf).

The move comes amidst on-going human rights concerns regarding the Bahraini government's brutal crackdown on civilian protesters using the military and police. At least 35 protesters are thought to have been killed.

The Asia director of Human Rights Watch, John Fortin, remarked,

"It is an insult to the Afghan people to suggest the military of a regime which crushes democracy in their own country would help build democracy in another."

Afghanistan's forces have themselves been criticised for widespread reports of rape, abuse and torture.

According to The Times (UK), Afghan officials, whilst publicly welcoming the deployment of Islamic soldiers, have privately expressed frustration at not being consulted prior and at having to work with "small countries" within the NATO coalition.

A spokesperson for Nato confirmed that Bahrain was to become a 'non-Nato troop-contirbuting nation'.

See related articles:

US will wait for inquiry before approving Bahrain arms (Oct 2011) 

Bahraini medics imprisoned for treating anti-government protesters (Sept 2011)

UN warns Bahrain on international law (March 2011)

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