Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pearl Roundabout Retaken

Bahrain's protestors have reoccupied Manama's Pearl Roundabout:
"Thousands of protesters have reoccupied the Pearl roundabout in the capital, Manama, after troops and riot police retreated from the symbolic centre of their anti-government uprising.

"The cheering protesters carrying Bahraini flags, flowers and signs that said 'Peaceful, peaceful" marched to the traffic circle on Saturday. They chanted, "We are victorious".

"Protesters kissed the ground in joy and took pictures of about 60 police vehicles leaving the area.

"Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, the crown prince, had earlier in the day ordered the military to withdraw, saying that the police would now be responsible for enforcing order, the Bahrain News Agency reported.

"Soon after the crown prince's directive, protesters attempted to stream back to the roundabout, but were beaten back by the police. According to the Reuters news agency, about 80 protesters were taken to a hospital after being hit by rubber bullets or teargas.

"The protesters, however, were successful in the next attempt, after riot police withdrew as well from the traffic circle."

In a sign of a potential rift in the royal family, King Hamad asked the crown prince to take charge of resolving the situation. The crown prince's offer to meet the major opposition groups was rejected, but he may make it again now that the security services have been redeployed.



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