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Bahrain Protests: Police Abuse Allegation Probes Opened By Government

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A Bahraini anti-government protester gestures toward riot police in Jidhafs, Bahrain, during clashes on Friday, July 20, 2012. Thousands of anti-government protesters in Bahrain have clashed with riot police firing tear gas in demonstrations against plans to make political marches illegal. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
A Bahraini anti-government protester gestures toward riot police in Jidhafs, Bahrain, during clashes on Friday, July 20, 2012. Thousands of anti-government protesters in Bahrain have clashed with riot police firing tear gas in demonstrations against plans to make political marches illegal. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

MANAMA, Bahrain -- Bahrain's Interior Ministry says it is opening investigations into possible rights violations by police during crackdowns on opposition protesters.

The probes into possible police abuses are in line with recommendations last year by an independent commission that studied the Gulf nation's Shiite majority's uprising against the Sunni monarchy.

A statement Sunday says the Interior Ministry seeks to uphold "international standards" among its security forces in efforts to build trust after more than 17 months of protests and clashes.

Bahrain has said before that it will look into abuses but this is one of the most forcefully worded pledges.

More than 50 people have died in unrest since February 2011 in the strategic kingdom, which is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

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