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he Government is to charter planes to evacuate British citizens who want to flee the deteriorating situation in Bahrain.

The Foreign Office has urged people to leave the stricken Gulf State on commercial flights on Thursday.

Those who cannot get a ticket will be evacuated on an FCO-chartered flight costing £260.

The advice comes as running battles were once again fought on Bahraini streets. Soldiers and riot police used tear gas and armoured vehicles to clear protesters from Pearl Square, which has been the focus of demonstrations in capital Manama.

Prime Minister David Cameron has called on the King of Bahrain to end the violent suppression of street protests. He spoke by phone to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa on and called for restraint from all sides in the escalating stand-off.

King Hamad has declared a state of emergency in the island kingdom after a month of demonstrations in which representatives of Bahrain's Shi'ite majority have called for the end of rule by its Sunni monarchy.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has also spoken with Bahraini Foreign Minister, Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa to express "serious concern" at the situation on the ground and urge restraint on all sides and the need for a return to law and order to enable genuine political reform.

Mr Hague said: "The UK remains seriously concerned about clashes with protesters and reports of several casualties. I call on all parties to engage in an open and constructive national dialogue, so that it is translated as soon as possible into tangible actions that respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Bahraini people."

There have been reports that at least two people were killed during the storming of the square, while local hospital officials said that a third died later from gunshot wounds. Bahrain state TV also reported that two policemen died when they were hit by a vehicle. Witnesses described helicopters firing on homes in a hunt for Shiites and attacking doctors treating the wounded, while the government called the demonstrators "outlaws" for demanding an end to the monarchy.

The imposition of martial rule followed the arrival of more than 1,000 troops, at the King's invitation, from neighbouring allies including Saudi Arabia.