Bahrain Protest Quashed by Violent Gov't RaidAt Least 4 Killed as Security Forces Rain Tear Gas Down, Storm Camp of Thousands Demanding Greater Freedom
(CBS/AP) Updated at 7:27 a.m. Eastern.
MANAMA, Bahrain -- Armed patrols prowled neighborhoods and tanks appeared in the streets for the first time Thursday after riot police with tear gas and clubs drove protesters from a main square where they had demanded sweeping political change in this tiny kingdom. Medical officials said four people were killed.
Police cars with flashing blue lights encircled Pearl Square, the site of anti-government rallies since Monday. Barbed wire was set up on streets leading to the square, where police cleaned up flattened protest tents and trampled banners.
The country's Interior Ministry issued a statement later Thursday claiming 50 police officers were injured as protesters in the square assaulted them with knives and swords. The statement blamed the protesters for the violence, saying the crowed ignored repeated warnings from authorities to leave the area.
Opposition leader Ibrahim Sharif, however, told the BBC that there had been no warning, and that many women and children were among those sleeping around Pearl Monument as the security forces launched their attack at about 3 a.m. local time.
A prominent opposition lawmaker from the Bahraini parliament's minority Shiite bloc told the Reuters news agency, meanwhile, that at least 60 people were missing after the raid in Pearl Square. He said his entire bloc, 17 of 40 parliamentarians, were quitting their jobs in protest.Lots more in the link at the top