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Tuesday, August 23, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Shi'ite opposition uses social media to spark
resurgence of Bahrain unrest

MANAMA — Bahrain, two months after the end of a Shi'ite revolt, has again been struck by unrest throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdom.


Shi'ite-led riots have erupted throughout Bahrain in late August amid a boycott of planned elections and national reconciliation. Officials said the Shi'ites were organized through the use of social media and clashed with Bahraini security forces.

"The rioting spread throughout almost every town and village in the country," an official said.

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The riots on Aug. 18 were said to have been the worst since Bahrain quelled the Shi'ite revolt in June with the help of the militaries of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi troops were said to remain deployed in Bahrain.

The Bahraini Interior Ministry said the riots were organized by agitators who blocked roads and hurled stones and metal rods toward police, Middle East Newsline reported. In some cases, the rioters were said to have used women as shields to escape.

In all, six police officers were reported injured and several security forces jeeps were damaged. Civilian injuries were not reported.

Security sources said the police were hampered by the lack of night-vision goggles. They acknowledged that police patrols were repeatedly ambushed by squads that emerged from the dark, hurled blocks at the police cars and retreated.

"They attack us and hide again," a security source said.

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