Bahrain forces patrol capital on revolt anniversary
Armored vehicles patrolled Bahrain’s capital on Tuesday in a security clampdown to deter protesters after overnight clashes outside Manama on the first anniversary of a forcibly suppressed pro-democracy uprising.
Youths flung petrol bombs at police cars during skirmishes before dawn, prompting authorities to flood Shi’ite villages around Manama with police reinforcements backed by helicopters.
Police fired tear gas at two dozen protesters near the former Pearl Roundabout, focal point of last year’s protests, nearly hitting several people as canisters bounced off cars.
“They fired straight at us, they weren’t even shooting in the air,” said one protester as a passing driver hauled him into his car. Other groups that appeared later were also doused with tear gas and about 30 people in total were detained and taken away.
Prominent activist Nabeel Rajab, who led the protesters, was detained, as were six American activists in the country as part of a Witness Bahrain group to monitor how police handle demonstrators.
“People coming to visit Bahrain need to understand that lying on immigration documents is against the law and they will face the consequences of their actions,” an immigration department official was quoted as saying.
The re-emergence of armored personnel carriers for the first time since martial law was lifted in June underlined the concerns of the Sunni Muslim-led monarchy about a new explosion of civil unrest by Bahrain’s disgruntled Shi’ite majority.
Shi’ite protests have intensified before the anniversary of the uprising, when mainly Shi’ite protesters occupied Pearl Roundabout for a month before security forces aided by Saudi troops broke up the movement that was inspired by revolts in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere in the Arab world.
No deaths or injuries were reported. At least 35 people, including security personnel, died during the protests last year.
There have been clashes on the outskirts of Bahrain’s capital, Manama, as the opposition marks the first anniversary of pro-democracy protests.
Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at youths in several villages, who hurled back petrol bombs and stones.
Large parts of Manama were also sealed off to prevent people reaching the site of the now-demolished Pearl Roundabout – the focus of last year’s unrest.
A BBC correspondent says the city centre has so far been quiet.
Most of the demonstrators are from the Gulf kingdom’s Shia Muslim majority, which has long complained of discrimination at the hands of the Sunni royal family, the Al Khalifa, and wants democratic reforms.
bahrain has a gold pass..they can do whatever they want to anyone and they will be immune from any “al qeada” like revolts turning into libya type situations..they are the home of the US 5th fleet..thats why