Bahraini police killed five protesters and wounded dozens more Wednesday as they launched an assault on a group of protesters who had camped out the night before in Manama’s Pearl Square, an opposition lawmaker told Press TV.
The forces backed by the army helicopters could take over the square only moments later.
A group of armed men had earlier set fire to the tents of the protesters. Electricity and mobile phone are reportedly cut off to people in large parts of Manama as the political situation in Bahrain escalates further.
The attacks come two days after Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar dispatched their armed forces to crisis-hit Bahrain to quash anti-government protests in the tiny Persian Gulf state.
The move has concerned UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, calling for a meaningful and broad-based national dialogue.
The UN chief also urged Bahrain’s regional neighbors and the international community to support a dialogue process and an environment conducive for credible reform in Bahrain.
Bahraini opposition groups, including the main bloc al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, denounced the move as an invasion of the kingdom.
The United States, which has its Fifth Fleet based there, has declined to term the troops’ move into Bahrain as invasion.
Several people have lost their lives and hundreds of others have sustained injuries following the Bahraini government’s violent crackdown on demonstrators.
On Tuesday, six people died and more than 1,000 others were wounded in clashes between anti-regime protesters and Bahrain’s security forces.
Thousands of Bahraini anti-government protesters are still camping out in Manama’s Pearl Square, which has become the symbol of the popular drive for change.
Demonstrators maintain that they will hold their ground until their demands for freedom, constitutional monarchy in the Persian Gulf sheikhdom and a say in the government are met.