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» 03/16/2011
BAHRAIN
Bahrain clamps down on revolt. At least two die in Pearl square
The ruler of the small state declares three months of national emergency after the arrival of military forces from Saudi Arabia and UAE. Riot police attack the protesters camp in the capital, and evacuate the commercial centre, the scene of clashes on March 12. The government closes the stock exchange, schools and universities.

Manama (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The ruler of Bahrain has brandished an iron fist against pro-democracy activists. This morning, hundreds of riot police attacked the demonstrators who are occupying Pearl Square, the symbolic heart of the "jasmine revolution" in the small Gulf country, clearing the square. At least two people were killed in the attack with dozens wounded. Two policemen were killed, hit by speeding cars. The government has decided to close the stock exchange, schools and universities.

Police charged the crowd, firing tear gas, rubber bullets and pellets. The charge was supported by armoured vehicles and helicopters to monitor the situation. Yesterday, two people died in clashes in the Shiite village of Shitro, 15 km south of Manama. A protester hit by a bullet, and a policeman hit by a car. Police said that he was knocked down deliberately.

Hamad Ben Issa Al-Khalifa, the ruler of Bahrain, yesterday declared a state of national emergency for three months, reassured by the arrival of military forces from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Bahrain is a majority Shiite country, ruled by a Sunni monarchy. The protesters remained camped out for a month in Pearl Square, calling for constitutional reforms and the removal of the prime minister, Sheikh Khalifah ibn Salman al-Khalifah, in power since 1971.

Police arrived in the early morning hours today, and after driving out the protesters burned the tents of the camp. The troops then broke into the commercial, to remove the illegal roadblocks and a few dozen protesters who remained in the area, after clashes on March 12 that left some 200 injured.


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See also
02/17/2011 BAHRAIN
Bahrain: three dead and dozens wounded. Police attack demonstrators without warning
03/17/2011 SYRIA
Democracy protests in Damascus and Aleppo, the first in decades
05/12/2011 YEMEN
Sanaa, overnight clashes between police and demonstrators. Ten dead
03/07/2011 CHINA
Police and helicopters to stop "jasmine revolution”. Beijing denies unrest
04/21/2012 BAHRAIN
Bahrain: Molotov cocktails and tear gas in clashes between police and demonstrators near the F1

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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