Gunning Mourners Down By Helicopter


The Bahrain monarchy goes there:

It was not immediately clear if all the forces were using live ammunition or rubber bullets to fire at the crowd, mostly young men who had been part of a funeral procession for protesters killed in an earlier crackdown by police. Minutes later, forces in a helicopter that had been shooting at the crowds, stopped to fire at a Western reporter and videographer who were shooting footage on the latest violence.

It may backfire in yet another Arab Sunni autocracy in a majority Shiite country:

The violence appeared to be transforming the demands of the protesters who early on were calling for a switch from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional one. But by Thursday, masses of protesters were chanting slogans like “death to Khalifa,” referring to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, while the opposition withdrew from the Parliament and demanded that the government step down.

There are some reports that the ammo is live, some that it is rubber and other Twitter feeds reporting the regime is preventing ambulances from rescuing the wounded. Kristof is tweeting ominously:

Witnesses say #Bahrain police cursed Shia as they attacked peaceful demonstrators. I haven't found 1 Sunni victim.

(Photo: Protesters run from a cloud of teargas during a clash with Bahraini security forces near the Pearl roundabout on February 18, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Protesters said that the army fired on them with live rounds, followed by teargas which drove the demonstrators back. There are unconfirmed reports that there are four dead in the clashes. By John Moore/Getty Images)