Bahrain Ongoing

by Matthew Shaffer

The flamboyant colonel has managed to steal the news cycle in recent days. But significant protests continue throughout the middle east, including those led by the Shiite majority in Bahrain. Here’s the latest


MANAMA, Bahrain — More than 100,000 protesters poured into the central Pearl Square here on Tuesday in an unbroken stream stretching back for miles along a central highway in the biggest antigovernment demonstration yet in this tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.

The protesters, mostly members of the Shiite majority, marched along the eastbound side of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Highway in a wide, unbroken column of red and white, the country’s colors. Men of all ages walked with women and children waving flags and calling for an end to the authoritarian government of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.

In a nation of only a half a million citizens, the sheer size of the gathering was astonishing. The protest, organized by the Shiite opposition parties, began in the central Bahrain Mall, two miles from the square and seemed to fill the entire length of the highway between the two points.

Security forces were nowhere to be seen along the demonstration route. The Ministry of the Interior, which has been regularly providing updates on the situation in the capital via its Twitter feed, issued a terse acknowledgment of the protest: “Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman towards Manama is now closed.”

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