On Feb. 14, clashes between police and demonstrators were reported in
Bahrain, in which at least 25 people, including three officers, were
injured, Middle East Newsline reported. Witnesses said police and security forces were ordered to stop
opposition marches around the capital of Manama, which halted business
throughout the area.
The kingdom has sought to quell the rising Shi'ite unrest. In February,
King Hamad Bin Issa Al Khalifa announced that each Bahraini family would
receive the equivalent of $2,700 to help defray rising prices.
But the offer was dismissed by the opposition. Instead, opposition
leaders, who threatened to leave parliament, warned authorities not to
"We urge the king to avoid the fatal mistake committed by similar
regimes in Tunisia and Egypt," Nabil Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center
for Human Rights, said. "This would push Bahrain into chaos and bloodshed."
The clashes continued into Feb. 15, and so far two people were reported
to have been killed. In one case, security forces fired tear gas, rubber
bullets and pellets toward a funeral procession.
In 2010, Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, enhanced its
police and security forces in an assessment that the Shi'ite opposition was
preparing massive and violent protests. Officials have suggested that the
opposition, which controls about half of parliament, was receiving aid from
On Feb. 14, Bahraini security forces employed rubber bullets and tear
gas to stop Shi'ite marches. Helicopters circled above to provide data on
Protest organizers said the campaign against the Sunni kingdom would
continue. They did not rule out the prospect of serious unrest in
neighboring GCC states.
"We would like to stress that Feb. 14 is only the beginning," the
opposition said in a statement. "The road may be long and the rallies may
continue for days and weeks, but if a people one day chooses life, then
destiny will respond."