Bahrain denied witness reports that helicopters were used to break up the demonstrations in the GCC Roundabout in Manama.
While admitting that helicopters were present at the demonstration, a Bahraini official cited by the state news agency BNA, said that the helicopters were only used for aerial photography.
Yesterday, following reports that Bahrain security forces fired teargas upon the demonstrators, the government outlawed any form of gatherings, demonstrations and sit-ins. In addition, there are reports that Bahraini security forces have arrested at least six key opposition figures as part of a crackdown against Shi’ite-led protests in the Sunni-ruled island kingdom.
At the same time, the Bahrain Ministry of Education announced closing the doors of all government and private universities, schools, nurseries until further notice.
BNA reported that this includes staff members of the Administration, Teaching and Technical faculty.
Troops from the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Peninsula Shield Force started arriving in Bahrain Monday in light of the unrest the Kingdom is currently witnessing, with the UAE providing 500 soldiers and Saudi Arabi 1000. In a statement, the Bahrain Defence Forces (BDF) called upon all citizens and residents to cooperated fully with the GCC forces and “welcome them warmly.”
Tuesday, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa authorized the country’s security forces to take charge for the next three months. That decision followed a petition by a pro-government parliament group asking for a curfew and to declare a state of emergency.