The Gulf Cooperation Council has contributed a reported 5,000 troops, most of them
from Saudi Arabia, to stop the Shi'ite campaign. Officials said the GCC
force, called Peninsula Shield, would remain in Bahrain for at least the
next several months.
"We condemn this attack," Said Hadi, a member of the Shi'ite opposition
bloc, Al Wefaq, said. "This kind of attack will make the situation even
The clashes took place during a Shi'ite festival of Azza on June 4-5
around Manama. Al Wefaq, which controls nearly half of parliament, said
police sought to block what the party termed religious gatherings by firing
rubber bullets, stun and tear gas grenades toward Shi'ites.
"The authorities said they wouldn't attack religious events, but this is
what they did," Hadi said.
Officials acknowledged the clashes with Shi'ites. They said Shi'ite
provocateurs sought to organize anti-government marches. They said most of
the violence took place in the Shi'ite suburb of Sitra.