At least two pro-reform protesters have been killed and dozens more injured after hundreds of Bahraini riot police, armed with tear gas, rubber bullets and clubs, stormed their makeshift encampment in the main traffic circle in the capital, Manama, while they slept.
The pre-dawn assault on Pearl Roundabout, which has become the focal point for protesters demanding reform, was meant to disperse the crowd and regain control of the area.
Speaking to Al Jazeera from Salmaniya hospital, the main medical facility in Manama, Maryama Alkawaka of Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, said that she saw dozens of injured demonstrators being wheeled into emergency rooms early on Thursday morning.
Nazea Saeed, a journalist with Radio Monte Carlo, said hundreds of people had gathered at the hospital. Speaking to Al Jazeera from the scene, she said the crowd is chanting: “Down with Al-Khalifa”, in reference to the country’s ruling family.
“People are also chanting that the blood of the victims will not be in vein,” she added.
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