United Nations: Amid incidents of violent crackdown on peaceful pro-democracy protesters in North Africa and Gulf, United Nations chief Ban Ki-Moon on Monday asked the governments there to exercise restraint and respect basic freedoms of the people.

Hundreds of people have died during anti-regime protests in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain where people are continuing their demonstration despite violent crackdowns by the security forces.

Ban's office said that he was in touch with leaders of the region to discuss developments in their countries.

Following the overthrow of leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, large-scale protests have erupted in several countries in the region including Bahrain, Yemen and Libya.

Ban spoke with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain on Sunday and urged the government "to exercise maximum restraint as well as to calm the volatile situation," according to the statement.