Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bahraini Police Launches Violent Crackdown on Protesters, Killing Seven


"At least seven pro-reform protesters have been martyred and dozens more injured early Thursday after hundreds of Bahraini riot police, armed with tear gas, rubber bullets and clubs, stormed their makeshift encampment in a violent crackdown in the main traffic circle in the capital, Manama, while they slept. Police refused to let in ambulances to take casualties.

Up to 95 protesters were wounded when police launched the operation in the iconic Pearl Square without warning at around 3.00 am (midnight GMT), sending protesters fleeing in panic. Relatives of the victims gathered outside the hospital, angry and weeping.

During the operation, explosions and ambulance sirens could be heard a few hundred meters (yards) from the central square, which had been sealed off. Demonstrators fled pursued by security forces, as a helicopter flew overhead, AFP reported.

The head of Bahrain's main opposition bloc has described the riot police attack as “real terrorism.”.....

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters have been occupying the Pearl Square since Wednesday, after days of clashes that resulted in two deaths and an apology from Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

The crowd chanted: "Down with Al-Khalifa", in reference to the country's ruling family and vowed that the blood of the victims will not be in vein.....

The magnitude of the pro-democracy protests in Bahrain is unprecedented in the history of the kingdom and the authorities' efforts to quell them have so far been ineffective. "

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