Bahrain´s Neda – Revolt Takes Violent Turn

by Florian Flade

Ahmad Farhan – Bahrain´s Revolutionary Symbol

Two days ago, the Kingdom of Saudi-Arabia invaded Bahrain by sending about 1,000 troops, tanks and armored vehicles into the small island state to help the Bahraini government fight the Shia-dominated uprising which began some weeks ago in the aftermath of the Egyptian, Tunisian and Libyan revolts.

Bahrain´s Royal family had requested support from their Saudi-Arabian neighbors in the crackdown of the anti-regime demonstrations which are labeled as a „Iranian led“ insurgency. Saudi-Arabia, fearing its own internal turmoil and quickly isolating their own Shiite population from world media attention, finally decided to sent the army to Bahrain.

Yesterday, the King of Bahrain, announced a three-month emergency rule. The Bahrain revolt has now taken a more violent turn, reports of heavy fighting and casualties are coming not only from the capital Manama but also from Sitra, east of the main island.

Seven protesters and at least two or three Bahraini and Saudi-Arabian soldiers and policemen are reported to have been killed in recent days. One of the first casualties of the Bahrain uprising is now becoming a symbol figure similar to Iran´s Neda, Egypt´s Khalid Said or Tunisia´s Mohammed Bouazizi.

Ahmad Farhan, a 24 year-old from Sitra, was shot in the head by security forces on March 15 and died in the hospital, Dr.Ibrahim Youssef of Sitra Health Center said. A video showing the young men with his head shattered by bullets was distributed on the Internet, calling the young Bahraini a „Martyr of the Revolution“.

Bahrain, which the Iranian government sometimes calls its „14th province“ is now becoming a bloody battlefield of the larger war between Sunni and Shia superpowers in the region.

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