Manama: Bahrain on Wednesday evening was awash with reports that two ministers, four Shura Council (upper house) members and several judges have resigned. However, no official statement was issued to confirm the resignations.

According to the reports, Nizar Al Baharna, the newly-appointed health minister, has decided to quit the government he joined in 2006 as state minister for foreign affairs.

Last week, Al Baharna come under fire for allegedly not taking stringent action against protesters who had erected tents on the Salmaniya Medical Complex car park as headquarters for meetings and protests.

Five lawmakers filed for grilling the minister, eight days after his appointment, making him the fastest minister to face quizzing since the parliament was re-established in 2002. The lower house on Tuesday voted to go ahead with the quizzing.

Majid Al Alawi, who was given the housing ministry in the latest cabinet reshuffle, reportedly told a local daily that he was boycotting the government "because of the way it is dealing with the current events in the country."

According to Al Wasat newspaper, 12 Shiite judges handed in their resignation yesterday.