Thousands of Protesters Take Control of Bahrain's Main Square
Feb. 15: Demonstrators chant and wave Bahraini flags near the Pearl Monument on a main square in Manama, Bahrain.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Thousands of protesters poured into a main square in Bahrain's capital of Manama Tuesday in an Egypt-style rebellion that sharply escalated pressure on authorities as the Arab push for change gripped the Gulf for the first time.
Security forces have battled demonstrators calling for political reforms and greater freedoms over two days, leading to the deaths of two protesters and the main opposition group vowing to freeze its work in parliament in protest.
In a clear sign of concern over the widening crisis, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa made a rare national TV address, offering condolences for the deaths, pledging an investigation into the killings and promising to push ahead with reforms, which include loosening state controls on the media and Internet.