It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Bahrainis rejoice after army and police retreat from Pearl roundabout just days after violent clashes there.[...]
MANAMA, BAHRAIN Young men jubilantly wave national flags and white banners with "peace" written in Arabic and English. Small children bearing roses know nothing of the politics, but they approach Pearl monument with glee, holding hands with proud parents.
Manama, Bahrain (CNN) -- Thousands of joyous Bahrainis retook a major square in the heart of the island nation's capital Saturday -- a dramatic turn of events two days after security forces ousted demonstrators from the spot in a deadly attack.
The sight of citizens streaming into Pearl Roundabout came as the Bahrain royal family made moves designed to end a turbulent week of unrest.
Crown Prince Salman ordered the removal of the military from the Pearl Roundabout, a top demand by opposition forces, and told CNN's Nic Robertson that citizens would be permitted stay in the spot without fear.
Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Bahrain’s authorities backed down from a standoff with protesters in a bid to ease tensions as government forces in Yemen, Libya and Djibouti shot at demonstrators, seeking to suppress calls for change sparked by the toppling of leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.
Protesters poured into Pearl Roundabout in downtown Manama, the Bahraini capital, after tanks and armored personnel carriers withdrew on the orders of Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The crown prince, speaking on Bahrain TV, said the country is entering a phase “in which we will discuss all our issues sincerely and honestly. Calm is required so all parties can put forward their views and issues in a responsible and productive way.”
Bahrain's opposition groups are expected to make demands of the Gulf state's rulers after the crown prince withdrew troops and protesters retook a symbolic roundabout.
Anti-government protesters swarmed back to Pearl roundabout in the capital Manama as riot police left, confidently setting up camp for a protracted stay. The protesters' action came after the army was earlier recalled to their barracks and police left the area.
"We don't fear death any more, let the army come and kill us to show the world what kind of savages they are," Umm Mohammed, a teacher wearing a black abaya cloak, said.
MANAMA, Bahrain—Bahrain's political crisis continued to cool down on Sunday, as seven opposition groups working to present protesters demands here said they would meet to coordinate a response to the government's call for dialogue.
Opposition groups had previously said they wouldn't negotiate with the government until the military was off the streets and protesters were free to demonstrate. The government on Saturday asked the military to withdraw from positions at key intersections across the city. When they did, thousands of protesters walked through riot police cordons at the Pearl, the public square that's been the site of two bloody confrontations between police and demonstrators earlier this week. Bahrain's Crown Prince made a second statement on national television to call for calm and dialogue.
WASHINGTON Feb 20 (Reuters) - The United States is deeply concerned by reports that Libyan and Bahraini security forces have attacked peaceful pro-democracy protesters, U.S. Ambassador the United Nations Susan Rice said on Sunday.
Speaking on NBC's Meet the Press, Rice rebutted accusations that the response of President Barack Obama's administration to a wave of pro-democracy protests in the Middle East and North Africa has been inconsistent.
She stopped short of calling for regime change in either Libya or Bahrain, two countries with vital security importance for the United States where protests -- and reports of violence -- have been gathering momentum in recent days.
As anger boils on the island, the US is caught between 'democracy promotion' and its military interests.
Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, has expressed "deep concerns" about the deadly attack on hundreds of sleeping anti-government protestors carried out by Bahrain's security forces at a central square in the capital, Manama, earlier this week.
The incident, in which at least five civilians were killed and many more seriously injured, was certain to sharply raise longstanding political tensions in the tiny, strategically located Gulf kingdom, which is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet and adjoins oil colossus, Saudi Arabia.
Analysts said the attack was likely to escalate the demands of the opposition – a coalition of liberal Sunnis and leaders of the majority Shia population – for a major overhaul of the monarchy headed by King Hamad bin Isa al- Khalifa.
MANAMA, BAHRAIN - Saudi Arabia on Sunday said it stands ready "with all its capabilities" to shore up Bahrain's ruling royal family if a standoff with the Shiite-led opposition is not resolved soon, underscoring the kingdom's deep concern about its neighbor's ongoing political crisis.
Sunni-led Saudi Arabia props up Bahrain's al-Khalifa family with cash and has long sought to prevent the tiny Persian Gulf state - with its majority Shiite population - from falling into Iran's orbit. With dwindling oil resources, Bahrain relies heavily on Saudi Arabia for money and security.
They want the government to resign, political prisoners to be released, the deaths of protesters investigated and an end to discrimination against Shiite Muslims by the ruling Sunni Muslim minority.
Bahrain's main trade union called off a general strike it had organized for Monday, saying their demand for the right to protest peacefully had been heeded.
Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa has been tasked by King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa to lead the all-out dialogue with the opposition.
Al-Arabiya TV reported six opposition groups have agreed to join the dialogue without identifying the names of the groups.