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In Bahrain, at least four people were killed when protesters clashed with security forces near the capital's Pearl Square, CNN reported, citing witnesses. The Associated Press reported that at least 50 people were injured after soldiers opened fire on protesters and that some of the victims were being treated for gunshot wounds at the main hospital. The U.S. Embassy was put on lockdown due to the protests, The State Department said.
At least one helicopter opened fire on the fleeing protesters and then at a Western reporter, The New York Times said.
Shiite cleric Sheik Isa Qassim spoke of Thursday's violence at prayers today, referring to the security forces' crackdown in the capital Manama as a "massacre" that aimed to quash free speech.
"The people were lying down peacefully, spending a calm night at the Pearl Roundabout under an open sky. Men, women, children and babies, all have been brutally attacked in a way to prevent escape and to inflict maximum suffering," the sheik said, according to CNN.
"This massacre makes it clear that the government in Bahrain is the most brutal among the governments of the Arab world," he added.
Originally posted by aarys
I wonder why Obama is so quite on this one. ( Couldent shut him up and his prune faced off sider Clinton on Egypt. ) Oh yeah might be because one of the US navy fleets is stationed there. And also how friendly they are to that country. Giving them money, Tax payers money. And giving all those royals there all the benefits of the elite.
There was growing anger last night over the enmeshed relationship between authoritarian Gulf governments and the British military and police after weeks of democracy protests across the Arab world that met with violent state repression.
As demonstrators in Bahrain and Libya attended funerals and faced armed soldiers yesterday, campaign groups called on the Government to re-evaluate whether Britain should be so heavily involved in the training of Arab police and the military.
In the past two years, British police have helped to train their counterparts in Bahrain, Libya, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Saudi Arabia through schemes run by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), which organises overseas training. At present, there are three full-time advisers working with the Bahraini police, which was heavily implicated in the violent crackdown on protests in Manama this week.
Britain has ordered an urgent review of arms sales to Bahrain in the wake of Manama's violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters there, reports said on Friday.
Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt told reporters in London that the review would also include several rounds of tear gas cartridges and other riot control equipment which had been cleared for export to Bahrain.
Licenses granted for their exports face the prospect of being urgently revoked if they are found to have contravened European Union (EU) and British guidelines. "We will not authorize any exports which we assess might provoke or prolong regional or internal conflicts, which might be used to facilitate internal repression, or which would in any other way be contrary to the criteria," Burt said.