More than 1,000 troops from Saudi Arabia have entered Bahrain to help control anti-government protests that have brought the central business district of the country to a halt.

According to AFP, the presence of Saudi personnel in Bahrain has been confirmed by a Saudi official. The troops are part of the Peninsula Shield Force, the military cooperation arm of the GCC.

Bahrain had earlier approached the GCC for additional support to aid policing of the protests after clashes broke out on 13 March between demonstrators and police around the Bahrain Financial Harbour.

On 13 and 14 March, schools and many businesses in Bahrain were closed as a result of the protests.