A security official in Saudi Arabia says a military force from Gulf states has entered Bahrain to help deal with a month of political unrest in the island kingdom.

The Saudi official says the units come from a special force within the six—nation Gulf Cooperation Council. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to brief media. He did not have information on the size of the force, but says they were deployed by air and road and will help protect key buildings.

The intervention sharply boosts the regional stakes on behalf of Bahrain’s embattled Sunni rulers, who have faced growing pressures from the country’s majority Shiites for sweeping political reforms.

The GCC members are Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

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