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Bahrain bans Bangladeshis after murder: reports

Lawmaker calls for the expulsion of all 106, 000 workers

Bahrain has suspended work visas for Bangladeshis after a mechanic from Bangladesh was accused of a gruesome killing, newspapers reported on Wednesday.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashed bin Abdullah al-Khalifa ordered that the granting of work visas to Bangladeshs be suspended, the papers said, citing a senior ministry official.

A Bahraini Islamist lawmaker had called on Sunday for the expulsion of Bangladeshi workers from the country after the murder of the Bahraini man.

The government must "put a timetable for the deportation of Bangladeshi laborers from Bahrain after their repeated involvement in murders and other crimes," Akhbar Al-Khaleej daily quoted MP Abdul Halim Murad of the hard-line Salafi bloc as saying.

But Bangladeshi charge d'affaires Saif al-Islam said the estimated 106,000 Bangladeshis working in Bahrain should not all be made to pay for the alleged action of the mechanic suspected of the murder.

"We told the Bahraini authorities to put this Bangladeshi national on trial and punish him if he is convicted," he told AFP.

"But I hope the 106,000 Bangladeshis working in various sectors will not all be punished if one man did something wrong," he added.

The mechanic was charged with premeditated murder after he was accused of slitting the throat of a Bahraini man with a hacksaw on Friday.

He was accused of acting after the two argued over payment for work on the victim's car.

Like other Gulf states, Bahrain relies heavily on unskilled Asian workers in low-paid jobs such as construction and domestic help.