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Saudi troops who crossed into Bahrain were heading in the direction of Riffa, a Sunni Muslim area that is home to the royal family and a military hospital, witnesses said.

They saw 150 armored troop carriers, and about 50 other vehicles including ambulances, water tankers, buses and jeeps. The vehicles were lightly armed and there were no tanks or missile launchers in the procession.

Emergency first aid tents were pitched in the car park of the military hospital, which was closed to the public.