Crackdown in Bahrain: Notes from the field
The crackdown was beginning. I could see a steady line of armoured personnel carriers inching down a road toward the roundabout.
I counted around thirty of them. Four helicopters hovered over the area with a fifth surveying at a higher altitude. Then I could see plumes of white and black smoke rising from behind and between the buildings near the roundabout, apparently from the burning tents of the protesters.
An hour later I saw another huge column of black smoke billowing up. What I couldn’t see were the Bahraini and Saudi forces attacking the protesters (killing two and injuring many more) and burning their tents.
Three other protesters were killed in the serious clashes in the Sitra island area and elsewhere. And the Salmaniyya hospital complex was being surrounded by security troops, preventing ambulances from entering or leaving.
A Bahraini friend could not contain his emotion in describing to me how members of his extended family in villages outside Manama had their houses broken into by thugs affiliated with the internal security organisations.