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Mourners Under Fire in Bahrain

1:48 PM, Feb 18, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Government security forces in Bahrain fired on mourners today in Pearl Square. The New York Times reports:

MANAMA, Bahrain — Government forces opened fire on hundreds of mourners marching toward Pearl Square Friday, sending people running away in panic amid the boom of concussion grenades. But even as the people fled, at least one helicopter sprayed fire on them and a witness reported seeing mourners crumpling to the ground.

It was not immediately clear what type of ammunition the forces were firing, but some witnesses reported live fire from automatic weapons and the crowd was screaming “live fire, live fire.” At a nearby hospital, witnesses reported seeing people with very serious injuries and gaping wounds, at least some of them caused by rubber bullets that appeared to have been fired at close range.

Even as ambulances rushed to rescue people, forces fired on medics loading the wounded into their vehicles. That only added to the chaos, with regular people pitching in to evacuate the wounded by car and doctors at a nearby hospital saying the delays in casualties reaching them made it impossible to get a reasonable count of the dead and wounded.

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