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Bahrain Crushes Protest -- Libya Braces For More Rage

Staff Reporters |
February 16, 2011 | 11:42 p.m. PST

 Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
At least three protestors have been killed and an unknown number injured Thursday morning in the small Middle Eastern nation of Bahrain as riot police and armored vehicles swept in to crush a pro-democracy encampment.

The security forces used tear gas, clubs, and rubber bullets to bust up a protest camp in the capital of Manama following two days of escalating protests against the authoritarian regime.

Al Jazeera reports: 


The pre-dawn assault on Pearl Roundabout, which has become the focal point for protesters demanding reform, was meant to disperse the crowd and regain control of the area.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from Salmaniya hospital, the main medical facility in Manama, Maryama Alkawaka of Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, said that she saw dozens of injured demonstrators being wheeled into emergency rooms early on Thursday morning.

Nazea Saeed, a journalist with Radio Monte Carlo, said hundreds of people had gathered at the hospital.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from the scene, she said the crowd is chanting: "Down with Al-Khalifa", in reference to the country's ruling family.

"People are also chanting that the blood of the victims will not be in vein," she added.

"People were attacked while they were sleeping. There was no warning," Saeed said. "And when they ran, the police attacked them from the direction they fled to."

Protests and open revolt continued to rock the region with a new “Day Of Rage” getting underway Thursday against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi who has ruled with an iron first for 40 years.  At least two people died in Libyan protests Wednesday and some 38 people injured. 

The protests were centered in the eastern city of Benghazi but were  not confined to that area. Al Jazeera:

Late on Wednesday evening, it was impossible to contact witnesses in Benghazi because telephone connections to the city appeared to be out of order.

State media reported there were pro-Gaddafi protests too across the country, with people chanting "We sacrifice our blood and souls for you, our leader!" and "We are a generation built by

Muammar and anyone who opposes it will be destroyed!"

As the wave of unrest spread south and westwards across the country, hundreds of people marched through the streets in the southern city of Zentan, 120km south of the capital Tripoli.

They set fire to security headquarters and a police station, then set up tents in the heart of the town.

Chants including "No God but Allah, Muammar is the enemy of Allah," can be heard on videos of demonstrations uploaded to YouTube.

Independent confirmation was not possible as Gaddafi's government keeps tight control over the movements of media personnel.



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