By Yacoub Al-Slaise
On Wednesday March 16th, a day after the King of Bahrain announced a State of National Security, police forces dispersed protesters from Pearl (Lulu) Roundabout by tear gas. Military forces were also on the scene in Manama but it is still unclear if they are Bahrain’s National Guard or members of the Gulf Peninsula’s Shield who entered Bahrain on Monday.
YouTube user hyya999 uploaded this video showing riot police dispersing the crowds at Pearl Roundabout with tear gas and dark smoke rising.
This video uploaded by YouTube user altan9o shows a man injured by bullets shot in the leg in the town of Qadam which is in the Northern Governate a few kilometres from the capital Manama. The YouTube user claims that the fire was from Saudi forces but this is unclear from the actual video.
Also in Qadam, this video by YouTube user Ahmedaino clearly shows helicopters and military vehicles around Budaiya (or locally know as “Burgerland”) roundabout which is a few hundred metres from the entrance of Qadam village.
At Razi Health centre, a few hundred metres away from Pearl (Lulu) Roundabout, YouTube user ALKOOFIPHOTO manages to shoot some images of military personnel firing bullets.
Another video by YouTube user EncryptedReality2 surfaced showing bullets holes damaging a Ministry of Health ambulance.
On Bahrain national TV, the 3rd statement by the Bahrain Defense Force was aired (uploaded by PureFacts2011)
“The General Command of Bahrain Defence Force announces that on Wednesday 16 March 2011, forces from the Public Security and the National Guard, with the support of the Bahrain Defence Force, launched an operation to cleanse the Gulf Cooperation Council Roundabout, the Bahrain Financial Harbour, the Salmaniya Medical Complex and the areas surrounding them.
The operation aimed to evacuate all the outlaws who had terrorized citizens and residents and harmed the national economy.
The operation was carried out according to plan with high standards of competence and professionalism while ensuring the safety of all.
Bahrain Defence Force General Command congratulates all citizens on the start to regain of normalcy and stresses that it will take all necessary procedures and measures to assert security and public order and safeguard the country and the people.
The General Command also requests all citizens and residents to avoid gatherings in vital areas of the capital for their own safety”.
Meanwhile, Omanis showed solidarity with the Bahraini protesters at holding a rally in front of the Bahraini embassy in Muscat. Video uploaded by YouTube user OmanProtests
Yacoub Al-Slaise is currently covering the Bahrain protests for Global Voices. He is based in Nagoya, Japan.