Thursday, February 17, 2011

5 dead in Bahrain, tanks in the streets

From NYT:
Without warning, hundreds of heavily armed riot police officers rushed into Pearl Square here 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.

The military said later it had taken control of most of the capital and banned protests, The Associated Press reported. The announcement on state television said the military had “key parts” of Manama “under control,” hours after the killings.

Television broadcasts showed tanks rolling through the capital.
Video from the scene:

One video of the tanks (h/t Missing Peace)

ABC's Jake Tapper looks at some of the Wikileaks cables showing a "cozy" US-Bahrain relationship.

Another video here.