Military seizes control in Bahrain

Four killed in harsh crackdown on anti-government protests

After days of protests following the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, Bahrain’s military has carried out a definitive and brutal crackdown by banning protests and swarming the capital Manama’s Pearl Square on Thursday. Four people were killed, according to medical officials, who also reported that the wounded were streaming into hospitals with serious wounds. The Interior Ministry sent text messages to Bahrainis warning them to stay indoors, while the army deployed tanks and military checkpoints at key points throughout Manama. Unlike the protests in Egypt and Tunisia, which were unanimous calls from a people’s majority for the end of corrupt and authoritarian governments, the protests in Bahrain seem to be based on religious divisions in the tiny Gulf island nation. Anti-government protesters have demanded that the ruling Sunni monarchy surrender its control over top government posts and address the grievances of the Shia majority, who claim systematic discrimination and exclusion from the public service and military.


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