Bahrain king orders fact-finding probe into protests

The king of Bahrain has announced an independent investigation into weeks of protest that rocked the Gulf island nation earlier this year.

The move by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa comes ahead of a national dialogue, due to start on Saturday.

At least 31 people died when Bahrain's Sunni rulers put down pro-democracy protests led by the Shia majority.

Opposition groups have not said if they will participate in the talks while their leaders remain behind bars.

In a televised address on Wednesday, the king blamed the unrest on "extremists [who] hijack the nation and take it into chaos and extremism."

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