A series of five bombs went off in the capital of Bahrain on Monday morning, killing two people and reminding the world that the tiny nation's quiet revolt against its royal family is far from over. While the focus of the Arab Spring has shifted from Egypt to Libya to Syria and then back to Yemen, Bahrain has seen violence that may be on a smaller scale, but has continually pressured the government for nearly two years. In March of last year, King Hamad crushed the initial series of protests with a massive show of force and since then has cracked down hard on all dissent. Just today, two activists were given jail sentences for defaming the king on Twitter. There's no evidence that the bombings are related to those cases.
Last week, the Sunni royal family announced that all public gatherings and rallies had been banned in a desperate attempt to silence all criticism of the country's rulers. Obviously, that won't stop the increase in violence as protesters switch to more extreme measures. In all, at least 60 people have been killed in the uprising since February 2011, with thousands more arrested or beaten. Like both of the victims of today's bombings, many of those casualties are foreign nationals as more than half of the country's population are workers from other nations, mostly from Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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