Hundreds of riot police backed up by tanks, bulldozers and helicopters killed at least two and wounded dozens more March 16 as they cleared a protest camp in Bahrain’s Pearl Square. The action came a day after an armed intervention force from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates entered the country, and King Hamad declared a three-month state of emergency.
Opposition al-Wefaq movement chief Sheikh Ali Salman said the regime was acting like Libyan strongman Moammar Qaddafi and using “extreme brutality” against peaceful protesters. “We reiterate the peaceful character of the uprising despite the thugs that have been deployed by the regime,” he told AlJazeera TV. He appealed to the United Nations to to “intervene to protect civilians from forces that are dealing with them like enemies.”
Health minister Nezar Albaharna resigned, telling the local Alwasat newspaper that the government was trying to kill people in the hospital. Housing Minister Majeed Alalawie also submitted his resignation, along with nine members of the upper house of the parliament, 12 judges of the court and the high judge counselor. (Middle East Online, USA Today, March 16)