Kaptain's Blog

The writings and musings of The Kaptain

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Situation In Bahrain

From Your Bahrain Correspondent, 13th March 2011:

Things took a turn for the worse here yesterday when riot police fired live rounds and tear gas at protestors they were attempting to corral into the area surrounding the Pearl Monument. (It’s a roundabout, not a square, as the BBC continues to insist.)

The roads were eerily quiet as I drove my way to the office – the reason for which was soon to become evident. Up ahead I saw several cars – a half-dozen or so, maybe – screaming towards me, headlights blazing. And this coming the wrong way down the main motorway that bisects Manama’s central business district. Fortunately I managed to avoid them by swerving up a nearby exit, where I stopped the car to draw breath.

I wound down the window to hear the familiar crack-crack-crack of gunfire heard so often on TV but never before for real. Up ahead, in the direction in which I’d been travelling, I could now see plumes of smoke (in the vicinity of Pearl Roundabout) and some 50+ police vehicles parked across the overpass. Fascinated at witnessing what was perhaps a historic event I listened to the sound for a while before continuing on.

I watched as dozens of people streamed out of nearby housing complexes and began making their way towards the scene. Some were trotting, some ran, others merely strolled. There were women among them, clad from head to foot in black. They were making a lot of noise and the overall atmosphere was one of tension. Cars honked their horns in unison. I called a friend and suggested he evacuate his office, which he duly arranged for.

Unsurprisingly, the schools are closed today and all the main shopping malls barricaded against vandals and looters. The Saudi army, meanwhile, has just trundled over the causeway that connects the two Kingdoms. According to the media this was in response to King Hamad’s request. Let’s hope Iran doesn’t get too hot under the collar about it.

posted by Kirk at 4:26 am  

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