US ally Saudi Arabia sends sectarian forces to help quash Bahrain protests

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Face to Face shooting in Bahrain (warning: graphic)

Bahrain Protester Shot Point Blank In Shocking Video
A shocking video of the point-blank killing of a protester has emerged from Bahrain.For over a month, protests have erupted in the Gulf nation as anti-government protesters flocked to the capital city of Manama’s Pearl Square. In the last few days, events have become increasingly bloody, with Saudi Arabia sending troops to the country on Monday, one of whom was shot to death. Bahraini Shi’ites called the Saudi intervention an act of “war,” and subsequently, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa declared a state of emergency. At that time, Nabeel Hameed, a neurosurgeon at Manama’s biggest hospital, reported that protesters “were all shot from close range,” adding that forces “do shoot to kill.”

Video: Bahrain military attack protesters’ camp
Focal point of demonstrations in capital Manama overrun by riot police as part of crackdown aimed at crushing anti-government uprising

Bahrain’s troops begin assault on protesters
Military troops and security forces moved Wednesday against thousands of anti-government protesters occupying a landmark square in Bahrain’s capital, a day after emergency rule was imposed in the violence-wracked Gulf kingdom.

And more news from Bahrain:

Police crackdown against Bahrain protesters
The Bahraini security forces, in a predawn swoop on the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, have driven away the pro-democracy protesters aided by the Apache helicopters and tear gas canisters. The protesters are nowhere to be seen and the Pearl Roundabout is now back under the control of the authorities. Two protesters and two policemen have been killed in the violence so far.

Bahrain forces in drive against protesters
Tear gas fired as security forces attempt to disperse protesters from capital’s Pearl Roundabout.

Two killed and over 200 wounded in Bahrain clashes, says hospital source
U.S. says there will be no military solution to Bahrain after country declares state of emergency following weeks of unrest.

Bahrain in Video and Pictures: The Security Forces Move Quickly
Pearl Roundabout in the capital Manama, after security forces cleared out protesters with tear gas — the fires are tents and gas canisters set alight as the demonstrators fled.

Medics at Salmaniya Hospital #Bahrain stranded and unable to collect nor receive injured. Crime Against Humanity!!!

Video Bahrain : Pro-King Thugs Attacked Nurses and Killed Citizens in Sitrah – WARNING – Video contains images of extreme violence

Photo: 5 Bahraini Protesters Brutally Killed By Saudi Military Forces in Sitra – WARNING – Video contains images of extreme violence

Tents in Bahrain set on fire

Police car attempts to run protesters over

15/3/11 Expats killed by government thugs
This video was first posted by anti-government protesters online and the Iranian Alalam TV, but was then used by Bahrain’s state television BTV to blame the protesters for killing them. The people, who speak in Shi’a dialect and are clearly horrified by the sight of the bodies, can be heard in the background claiming that a “black American” is responsible for this. Another says “these are poor Bangladeshis, they’re innocent!”. Towards the end, a third voice, who appears to be an eye-witness, says thugs in an “American jeep” did it.

A protester being executed by live police rounds in Sitra 15/3/11

Burning tents in peal roundabout as the police and army cracks down 16/3/11

denying ambulances from coming into Salmaniya 16/3/11

 Bahrain Financial Harbor 16/3/11
 Pearl roundabout 16/3/11:

Picture of helicopter with machine gun 16/3/11

A number of helicopters in Bahrain’s sky 16/3/11

Police attacking medical personnel  16/3/11

medical personnel being searched 16/3/11

army and police celebrating “victory” 16/3/11

Thugs attack Bahrain International Hospital 16/3/11

Army bus by Salmaniya hospital 16/3/11

Army aiming their guns at civilians 16/3/11

Another photo of pearl roundabout on 16/3/11 morning

Bahrain protesters’ camp stormed by troops
Soldiers and riot police used tear gas and armoured vehicles to drive out hundreds of anti-government protesters occupying a landmark square in Bahrain’s capital, a day after emergency rule was imposed in the violence-wracked Gulf kingdom.

police purportedly firing live rounds at civilians in Sitra 15/3/11

Al Jazeera English: “Brutal attack” alleged in Bahrain; doctors complain from the violence, sleep in hospital to treat patients 15/3/11

Al Jazeera English: protester shot in chest 13/3/11

Video of protester shot in the head (extremely graphic)

Further evidence of the police collaborating with pro-government thugs who attacked the University 14/3/11

Live Blog: Bahrain crackdown
The latest news, photos and videos from Bahrain, where security forces have attacked protesters camped out in Pearl Roundabout.

Bahrain: Martial Law Does Not Trump Basic Rights
(Manama) – Bahrain’s declaration of martial law and deployment of armed forces from Saudi Arabia does not override its obligations to respect fundamental human rights under international law, Human Rights Watch said today.

Bahrain youth movement calls protest on Wednesday
MANAMA, March 16 (Reuters) – Bahrain’s youth movement, which had been leading protests at the Pearl roundabout, called on Wednesday for a mass demonstration from all Manama suburbs towards Budaya Street in the north of the capital.  The Feb. 14 group said in a mass text message that the protest would begin at 3.30 p.m. (1230 GMT). Budaya Street is lined with Shi’ite Muslim villages and suburbs and leads to the Sunni Muslim suburb of Budaya.

Bahrain defence official warns against gatherings
MANAMA, March 16 (Reuters) – A Bahraini defence official warned Bahrainis on Wednesday not to gather in public, saying it was for public safety. The official gave the warning in a live appearance on state-owned Bahrain TV, in which he announced that security forces had cleared protesters from Pearl roundabout and Salmaniya hospital, where activists had set up tents.

Watch: GCC armed forces enter Bahrain to quell protests
Armed troops of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) entered Bahrain days ago amidst escalating pro-democracy protests.  A large contingent of GCC military units drove into the Arab country Saturday — as filmed in the video below, which was posted to YouTube by user 000friendly. The Saudi-headquartered GCC is a political and economic alliance between six Arab nations in the Persian Gulf: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Bahrain’s King Declares Martial Law
MANAMA, March 15 (Reuters) – Bahrain’s king declared martial law on Tuesday as his government struggled to quell an uprising by the island’s Shi’ite Muslim majority that has drawn in troops from fellow Sunni-ruled neighbour Saudi Arabia.  An uneasy calm fell on Bahrain overnight, and a defence ministry statement suggested action against protesters camped out for weeks at Pearl roundabout could be swift. Forces may impose curfews, disperse gatherings and evacuate areas, it said.

Bahrain raises the stakes by bringing in Saudi forces
Bahrain is at a tipping point. By inviting in 1,500 Saudi and Emirati troops to help restore order the ruling al-Khalifa family have dramatically raised the stakes in the tiny Gulf kingdom.

Bahrain in state of emergency as crowd marches on Saudi embassy
The King of Bahrain has declared martial law, giving the military authority to end pro-democracy protests with the backing of 2,000 troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Some 10,000 Bahraini demonstrators marched on the Saudi embassy in the capital, Manama, yesterday to protest against the Saudi intervention, which an opposition statement said amounted to an occupation. Significant parts of the island kingdom, which has a population of 600,000, remain in the hands of protesters, one of whom was reported to have been killed yesterday by the security services.

Bahrain imposes curfew, bans all gatherings
MANAMA, March 16 (Reuters) – Bahrain’s military imposed on Wednesday a curfew from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. (1300 to 0100 GMT) across a large swathe of the capital Manama, and banned all public gatherings and demonstrations across the country.  The announcement, made by a military officer in a live television appearance, came after the youth movement called for a protest at 3:30 p.m. The curfew covers the area from Bahrain’s Seef Mall and covers the main thoroughfare through the Pearl roundabout and the financial district to the diplomatic area.

Iraq Shiite authority condemns Bahrain crackdown (AFP)
AFP – A leading Iraq-based Shiite Muslim authority on Wednesday condemned a deadly government crackdown on mainly Shiite protesters in Bahrain, saying the violence must stop immediately.*

Hezbollah: Intervention in Bahrain counter-productive
BEIRUT: Hezbollah issued a statement Tuesday saying that military intervention in Bahrain eliminates chances of reaching a solution. “In light of the recent developments in Bahrain regarding the military intervention of neighboring Arab countries and the use of violence which has caused deaths and injuries, Hezbollah can only voice concern and strong condemnation targeting peaceful civilians,” said a statement carried by the state-run National News Agency. “Military intervention and the use of violence against a peaceful and popular movement will … only complicate matters and eliminate chances of finding a solution,” it added. Hezbollah also considered the U.S. position regarding the recent developments as “suspicious” and indicative of Washington’s “real policy” toward the popular movements.

Iran: Saudi troops in Bahrain unacceptable
The Iranian government Tuesday called the presence of Saudi troops in Bahrain “unacceptable,” saying the move “will further complicate the issue.”

Iraq’s Sadr followers march against Bahrain crackdown
BAGHDAD, March 16 (Reuters) – Followers of Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr demonstrated in Baghdad and Basra on Wednesday in support of mainly-Shi’ite demonstrators in Bahrain, denouncing intervention by Saudi troops.  The crackdown by Bahrain’s Saudi-backed Sunni royal family against protesters from the country’s Shi’ite majority has galvanised Iraq’s own Shi’ite community, exacerbating the sectarian tension that led to years of war in Iraq.

Inside Story – Saudi intervention in Bahrain
The world’s eyes on threatening white clouds billowing over damaged nuclear plants in Japan, but at another point of crisis a continent away Saudi-led troops cross the border into their Gulf neighbour Bahrain. Is the core of sectarian divide about to be exposed? And could the fallout become regional?

Saudi Arabia rewards Qatar for its lousy coverage of Bahrain
“Qatar is likely to nominate Abdul Rahman Al Atiyyah, the outgoing Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) secretary-general, to be the next secretary-general of the Arab League, Qatari media reported on Tuesday.”

Bahraini Protestors to Obama:Foreign Troops Unleash Violence Against Bahrain & Claim to Have American Green Light
[This is a public letter addressed to US President Barack Obama from by protesters in Bahrain under the name “Movement of 14 February.” The letter was circulated on March 15, 2011]
Mr President,
You certainly know about the Saudi and other gulf troops arriving to Bahrain to aid the government in clamping down the peaceful protesters. If you can find any legal, logical or ethical justification for this intervention, can you find any justification as well to them forming thugs attacking peaceful Bahrainis in their own homes and villages, killing them with live rounds, intimidating women and children in these areas, and boasting themselves with a “claimed” American green light!!

Saudi Intervention Likely to Bring Regional Blowback
Saudi Arabia’s incursion into neighboring Bahrain is a risky move that could further inflame domestic unrest in both countries and give a propaganda boost to Tehran’s campaign to cultivate the Arab street. Saudi authorities and officials from the United Arab Emirates—which sent 500 police to augment 1,000 Saudi troops—said they had entered the island kingdom Monday at the request of the Bahraini government to safeguard the country’s infrastructure and provide space for a political solution.

The US wants Saudi troops to help in the democratization of Bahrain
“In the case of Bahrain, the senior official said, the administration’s goal has been to enlist the Saudis’ help to open up the Bahraini political system without overthrowing the government.”

Darker Than Black Tuesday [Notes From the Bahraini Field- Update 6]
Amid an atmosphere of extreme tension a number of Asian men, mostly from Pakistan, have reportedly been attacked with swords and iron rods during the last two days. The government seems to have taken up their cause to point blame at opposition protesters although as of yet the circumstances in which they were attacked, and who attacked them are not clear. The men attacked were all civilian residents who have in the past borne the brunt of anti-government sentiment. Mostly Pakistanis, they are often recruited by the hundreds into Bahrain’s security forces, their citizenship fast tracked and social benefits guaranteed. They are then used in riot police squads to mete out violent repression against locals. That said, the description of men wearing masks and carrying swords given by victims interviewed in the local press is very similar to description of baltajiyya thugs who instigated violence and vandalism at the Bahrain University earlier in the week.

Murder in Bahrain
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been one busy official of late. Last week, on a surprise visit to Afghanistan, he managed to apologize for U.S. helicopters killing nine boys collecting wood on a hillside in Kunar Province, even as he announced that a negotiating team would soon be dispatched from Washington to work out a “strategic partnership” with the Afghans. Such a “partnership” would, he indicated, keep the U.S. military in the country well past the 2014 “deadline” for the withdrawal of “combat troops.” Of course, he discounted any American “interest in permanent bases”—a phrase avoided since the Pentagon termed the mega-bases it was planning for Iraq at the time of the invasion of 2003 “enduring camps.” The Afghan bases won’t be labeled “permanent” either, not unless the “Afghans want it,” in which case “we can contemplate the idea.” In the meantime, bases on loan for a while would be just dandy!

Holy smokes! The Saudis are in Bahrain, Rami G. Khouri
The deployment of Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates security forces to Bahrain on Monday is a cause for concern at several levels. It suggests that conservative Arab leaders in key energy-producing states are worried about the potential for the unrest in Yemen to their west and Bahrain to their east to spill over into their own countries. It accelerates the long-simmering ideological war between some Arab leaders and the Iranian government, with an unspoken but strong undertone of Shiite-Sunni tensions. And it is likely to spark fresh internal tensions in some Gulf states, where Shiite minorities will raise the level of their demands and protests.

U.S. may lose either way in Bahrain crisis
As a standoff in Bahrain teeters near violence, the U.S. faces a hard choice between maintaining support for an unpopular monarchy or pushing for change that could weaken the U.S. strategic position. As a standoff between troops and protesters in Bahrain teeters near violence, the Obama administration is facing a difficult choice between maintaining support for an increasingly unpopular monarchy or pushing for change that could weaken the U.S. strategic position in the vital Persian Gulf.,0,2161609.story

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