News / Middle East

    Bahrain Continues Violent Crackdown on Protesters

    An unidentified Bahraini anti-government protestor is carried to a vehicle to be taken to a hospital after being wounded during a demonstration in Manama, Bahrain, February 18, 2011
    An unidentified Bahraini anti-government protestor is carried to a vehicle to be taken to a hospital after being wounded during a demonstration in Manama, Bahrain, February 18, 2011

    Bahrain’s main hospital has been flooded with patients after security forces opened fire on anti-government demonstrators. Fifty-five people are reported injured, seven of them are said to be in critical condition. Witnesses said  the demonstrators were performing Friday prayers at Manama’s Pearl Roundabout when shots began to ring out.

    The violence was at the same site where riot police killed four people earlier in the week. Medical officials say it appears real bullets were used in Friday’s attack.

    Sharif al-Hamid was at the scene and had to be hospitalized for severe teargas inhalation. "200 people or 300 people came to pray. They started prayer and they (authorities) started shooting," he said.

    As of midnight on Friday, no deaths had been confirmed. Dr. Jafa Abdullah estimated, however, that at least 50 people were rushed to Salmaniya hospital for treatment, and he said the military made it difficult for the injured to get help.

    "We have information that five to six persons from paramedics were almost arrested there by the police force and they are not allowing them to transport the patients and not allowing them to even come back for us," said Abdullah. "At least, we are waiting for the authorities to open the area for us to go and help the injured people there and transfer them to here to support their needs."

    Protests continued Friday across the Middle East and North Africa

    • Bahrain: Security forces fired shots as mourners leaving a funeral tried to return to a central square in the capital, in defiance of a government ban on protests. Witnesses say many people were wounded in the crackdown.
    • Yemen: At least one person was killed and eight wounded after a car passenger threw a grenade at a crowd of anti-government demonstrators in the southwestern city of Taiz. The attack took place as demonstrators took part in one of the "day of rage" rallies.
    • Jordan: Protests turned violent, as government supporters clashed with demonstrators calling for political reforms. Reports say at least eight people were injured when government supporters attacked the demonstrators with batons.
    • Iran: Thousands of government supporters called for the execution of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi during prayer services in Tehran.
    • Egypt: Tens of thousands of people packed Cairo's Tahrir Square for a day of celebration marking one week since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.
    • Libya: Human Rights Watch says Libyan security forces killed 24 protesters during Thursday's crackdown on anti-government demonstrations. The U.S.-based rights group, citing witnesses, says security forces shot and killed protesters in an effort to break up "Day of Rage" demonstrations across the country.

    A nurse at the hospital, who asked not to be named, said that the situation in Bahrain has gotten out of control and she called on Western Powers to do more to help. "We are dying here. They are killing people. Really we cannot tolerate this."

    News of the latest crackdown prompted hundreds of protestors to gather outside the emergency room at Salmaniya hospital and begin chanting anti-government slogans.

    A Special Forces police officer also showed up and announced his resignation. He said he refused to be part of an organization that killed innocent people.

    Since peaceful protests began in Bahrain on February 14, five people have been confirmed dead. Human rights groups reported 60 people have gone missing.

    Bahrain’s foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Khalifa, has defended the country’s use of force, saying it was necessary because demonstrators were pushing the country to the brink of a sectarian abyss”

    Shi’ite Muslims make up roughly two-thirds of Bahrain’s population and say they are not given the same social benefits as the country’s Sunni minority. They also accuse the government of naturalizing foreign Sunnis and giving them the top jobs in the country.

    Bahrain’s crown prince, Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, called for calm on Friday, saying it was time for dialogue, not fighting.

    Slideshow of today's protests

    NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora