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Tags: bahrain demonstrations

Bahrain Becoming Flashpoint in ME Unrest

Wednesday, 16 February 2011 09:36 AM EST

Bahrain is emerging as a key focal point in the unrest sweeping across the Middle East, as protesters staged a third straight day of demonstrations today and vowed to bring at least 50,000 to the streets on Saturday, The Christian Science Monitor reports.

After the fall of secular dictators in Tunisia and Egypt, democracy movements across the Persian Gulf now face a sterner test as they confront autocratic monarchs such as Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa, whose ruling Al Khalifah family has held absolute power for more than two centuries.

The king made a rare apology yesterday for the death of two protesters in clashes with police earlier this week, and promised to set up a committee to investigate the killings. The kingdom's Sunni rulers, who face an increasingly restless Shiite majority, have also promised grants of $2,500 to each family and an increase in food subsidies.

But antigovernment protesters are insistent in their demands, which include political reform and improved human rights in the diminutive Persian Gulf kingdom. The country's political opposition has suspended its participation in parliament, and hundreds of protesters today occupied a central square in Bahrain's capital, Manama.

Read the entire story at csmonitor.com

© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

bahrain demonstrations
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 09:36 AM
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