Bahrain king boosts backlash on violent protests

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Bahrain’s king has issued new decrees, giving authorities more powers to strip citizenship and block suspected funding channels in attempts to quell escalating anti-government violence in the Gulf nation.

The measures are part of wider planned crackdowns unveiled earlier this week. They seek to battle a nearly 30-month uprising by majority Shiites demanding a greater political voice in the strategic Sunni-ruled nation, which is home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

Shiite groups have denounced the steps, which also may include a ban on all protests in the capital, Manama.

The decrees by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa were reported Thursday by the official Bahrain News Agency. They give authorities wider ability to revoke citizenship for “terror” acts and halt funding for groups suspected of backing attacks.

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