Bahrain curfew enforced, several dead and hundreds injured

Curfew follows deadly Bahrain crackdown
Curfew enforced, several dead and hundreds injured as security forces use tanks and helicopters to quash protests.

 

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/03/20113164383197... 

At least six people are reported dead and hundreds injured after security forces in Bahrain drove out pro-democracy protesters from the Pearl Roundabout in the capital, Manama.

A 12-hour curfew came into force at 4pm in areas of the city including the Pearl Roundabout, the Bahrain Financial Harbour, and several other buildings which have recently been targets of protests.

By then, most of the area had been cleared after troops backed by tanks and helicopters stormed the site - the focal point of weeks-long anti-government protests in the tiny kingdom - early on Wednesday, an Al Jazeera correspondent said.

Multiple explosions were heard and smoke was seen billowing over central Manama.

Hospital sources said three protesters had been killed and hundreds of others injured in the offensive, the Reuters news agency reported. Three policemen were also reported dead.

Our correspondent said the police backed by the military attacked the protesters from all sides and used tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd.

Protesters, intimidated by the numbers of security forces, retreated from the roundabout, he said. By 5pm the area was quiet, although a few people remained on the streets. A helicopter circled overhead.

Bahrain's youth movement had called for a mass demonstration on Wednesday afternoon but it was unclear whether protesters planned to regroup elsewhere in the city.

Bahrain's main opposition Wefaq party has called off protests, saying it is too dangerous to continue. There are fears that a small gathering could result in a high level of casualties, our correspondent said.

Wefaq has advised people since this morning to avoid confrontation with security forces and to remain peaceful," a Wefaq official told Reuters.

Ali Al Aswad, a Wafaq member, told Al Jazeera that the government used Apache helicopters to shoot at peaceful protesters.

He said the situation was very bad and Bahrain was heading towards a disaster. "The security forces are killing the people, we call upon UN to help us," Aswad said.

 

 

 

 

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