Press TV – February 18, 2011
The Bahraini military has opened machinegun fire on protesters who were trying to reach hospitals, injuring hundreds, in what appears to be an attempted massacre, medics say.
The Army has prevented ambulances and medics from reaching those wounded amid massive pro-democracy protests in Bahrain, Dr. Ghasam, a resident at Salmaniyeh hospital in Manama, told Press TV on Friday.
He said that the protesters were marching to hospital in silence to visit those wounded in the previous rallies, when they were ambushed by troops waiting near the hospital.
“They did not even chant anti-government slogans, they wanted to visit those injured on Thursday,” Dr. Ghasem said.
He maintained that the massacre was planned in advance.
“We need help! Our staff is entirely overwhelmed. They are shooting at people’s heads. Not at the legs. People are having their brains blown out,” Dr. Ghasam said.
He also compared the situation at the hospital to a war zone.
Bahraini lawmaker Ali al-Aswad, who was at the hospital at the time of incident, also told Press TV that the army has prevented the medical staff from reaching those injured and urged the Bahraini authorities to stop killing their own people.
According to the Bahraini lawmaker, nearly 700 army troops are stationed near the hospital.
Following the violence, Bahrain’s crown prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa promised to start a national dialogue, once calm returns.
The Friday shooting came after a funeral procession held for those killed on Thursday turned into pro-democracy protests with a turnout of tens of thousands, which is unprecedented over the past few weeks.
Four pro-democracy protesters were killed and 231 others wounded after riot police raided the protest camp in the early hours of Thursday, when most of the demonstrators were sleeping, in an attempt to clear capital’s main square from demonstrators.
The funeral procession of the victims was held after the Friday Prayers.