5 Dead, Hundreds Hurt In Bahrain

From Bahrain, the New York Times is reporting at least five deaths after hundreds of heavily armed riot police officers rushed into Pearl Square without warning early Thursday, firing shotguns, tear gas and concussion grenades at the thousands of demonstrators who were sleeping there as part of a widening protest against the nation’s absolute monarchy.

At least five people died, some of them reportedly killed in their sleep with scores of shotgun pellets to the face and chest, according to a witness and three doctors who received the dead and at least 200 wounded at a hospital here. The witness and the physicians spoke in return for anonymity for fear of official reprisals.

On Bahraini state TV, the military announced a ban on gatherings, saying it had “key parts” of the capital under its control.

The abrupt crackdown on what had been a carnival-like protest injected a new anger into demonstrations calling on King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to enact reforms.

Hundreds of protesters chanted “Death to Khalifa” outside a hospital as women ran screaming through wards and corridors seeking lost children, said the Times.

Bahrain’s interior ministry said the army would take every measure necessary to preserve security.

Complete article via New York Times


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