The monarchy is stepping up its efforts on multiple fronts to suppress the demonstrations in Bahrain. But the injection of thousands of Saudi Arabian mercenaries may only have energized the protesters. From the New York Times:
Hours after the king of Bahrain declared a three-month state of emergency, doctors at a central hospital on Tuesday said two protesters had been killed and some 200 wounded and injured in clashes with riot police in the suburban village of Sitra.
One man, Ahmed Farhan, 24, had dozens of shotgun pellet wounds on his back and a gaping head injury, while a second man had tire marks from having been run over by security forces, the doctors said. Grisly video from the hospital, including of Mr. Farhan, appeared online shortly after.
“The signs are that this is a coordinated attack,” said Dr. Ali al-Aradi, an administrator at Suleimaniya Hospital. “These were not skirmishes. This was an attack on the protesters. These are the kinds of wounds we are seeing — shotgun and head injuries.”
The Ministry of Information said a security officer had been also been killed in the nearby village of Ma’ameer.
The violence around Sitra, a stronghold of antigovernment activists six miles south of the capital, contrasted starkly with a large protest in downtown Manama, where more than 10,000 protesters marched peacefully on the Saudi Arabian Embassy to denounce a military intervention by Persian Gulf countries the day before.
The entrance of foreign forces, including Saudi troops and those from other Gulf nations, threatened to escalate a local political conflict into a regional showdown; on Tuesday, Tehran, which has long claimed that Bahrain is historically part of Iran, branded the move “unacceptable.”
The foreign troops did not appear to take up positions in the capital early on Tuesday, heading instead for the palace neighborhood of Riffa.
Nevertheless, the city took on the feel of a ghost town: businesses were shuttered, malls closed and the streets largely deserted as residents watched apprehensively to see what role the foreign military would play to quell widespread demonstrations.