New pro-democracy demonstrations in Bahrain as rumours mount about a Saudi intervention
Manama (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Tensions are growing in a number of Gulf states swept by the ‘Jasmine Revolution’. Today, a group of Sunni legislators in Bahrain called on King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to impose martial law for three months to stop Shia-led demonstrations. They accuse “extremist movements” of pushing the country along the path of sectarian conflict. In the meantime, more and more voices are talking about a possible intervention by Saudi forces in the island nation. Local sources say that the Sunni-ruled kingdom might call for Saudi intervention within the framework of the Gulf Co-operation Council, an organisation that includes six Persian Gulf states.
As they have done for more than a month, Bahraini protesters were in the streets yesterday. They successfully isolated Manama’s financial district, whilst keeping at bay police agents trying to move them out of the Pearl Roundabout, the capital’s landmark central square.
Clashes were also reported on the campuses of the country’s main universities, with confrontations between pro- and anti-government groups.
In Yemen, violent clashes saw protesters pitted against police. Three people died in Sana’a and Aden, whilst dozens were wounded.
Eyewitnesses said that police shot tear gas and used live ammunition. Visiting a clinic set up for the wounded, doctors told Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra they had treated 14 people for gunshot wounds and others suffering from the effects of tear gas.