|Protesters in Bahrain|
Bahrain sovereign, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, has released 25 political prisoners and has left for Saudia Arabia. 75 others had already been freed. Thousands of demonstrators continue to mass on the streets of the small island nation of 800.00 half of whom are citizens of other countries.
|King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa|
The struggle initially was between the Sunni Monarchy and the Shiite majority population. Current sentiment of the demonstrators has shifted more to a nationalistic stance reflected by cheers saying not Shiia, not Sunni, Bahraini.
The day of reckoning creeps closer to Moammar Gadhafi in Libya. The eastern part of Libya is in the control of protesters. The capital and surrounding areas are witnessing terror tactics as African French speaking mercenaries have killed an estimated 1000 Libyans by shooting indiscriminately into protesting crowds in Sabratha and in the capital, Tripoli, near to Gadhafi’s residence.
Eye witnesses are describing Gadhafi’s personal army as composed of non Arabic speaking African mercenaries who are everywhere in the capital. Many of them are serving as snipers in the residential areas. One capital resident described it as a siege.
The areas that have been seized from Gadhafi’s control are being administrated by either tribal authority who are supporting the demonstrators or by committees of residents of the various cities. Army and police units have crossed over to the opposition as well as the minister of the interior and several influential Libyan diplomats such as the Ambassador posted to Washington, DC, Ali Adjali. Ibrahim Dabbashi, deputy Ambassador to the U.N. is also supporting the protestors. Guards at the Egyptian border have left their posts.
Gadhafi in a rambling speech on Wednesday, just hours ago said that he was in power until the last drop of blood.
Planes have been flown across the border rather than carry out orders to bomb or strafe the demonstrators in eastern cities. The crew of one plane directed to Benghazi on a bombing mission bailed out and the plane crashed. They did so rather than carry out the order.
Before the king fled Bahrain demonstrators sleeping in tents in Pearl Square were besieged at 3 am by police throwing tear gas canisters. Dozens of vehicles, ambulances, armored cars, and police cars arrived at the capital city square.
Many of the injured were women and children. Two are reported dead from rubber bullets used by the security forces.
Protestors lay blame at the feet of King Hamad ibn Isa Khalifa. One woman said that though he will apologize tomorrow, tonight he ordered these men to do these things. Many of the security forces are employed to serve from other countries unlike the Egyptian police and Army who were up against their own family and friends.
The police had authorized three days of protest in the square but the raid occurred on the second day according to one man.
At the Salmaniya Medical Complex another group massed made up of distort relatives searching for their loved ones. 50 have received emergency treatment. Doctors confirmed that toddlers were among those treated for injuries. They expect the death toll to increase.
A clinic had been set up in the square to tend to the needs of protesters. The police began beating the doctors and medical personnel in the square.
Those arriving by ambulance had been severely beaten. Some had their hands in plastic cuffs and had been beaten while vulnerable.
The protest in Bahrain is different than Egypt or Tunisia. It involves charges of discrimination by the government of the King’s uncle who is the current prime minister. He is charged with repression and discrimination of the Shiite majority population. The Royal family is Sunni.
Bahrain has a population of 800,000 and is an island nation. It is strategic to U.S. interest as it is home to the US 5th fleet.