Before dawn this morning, security forces in Bahrain attacked Manama's Pearl roundabout — the focal point of that country's month-long antimonarchy protests — killing at least six, setting fires and firing teargas. But they didn't stop there. According to a doctor who spoke to CNN, Yousif Sharaf, a hospital in Manama has been attacked, too:
Saudi Arabian troops entered Bahrain on Monday, answering "a request by Bahrain for support" in the face of that country's increasingly bold anti-government protests. (The BBC clarifies what the Saudi media meant by "support": "It is believed they are intended to guard key facilities such as oil and gas installations and financial institutions." Which sounds about right.) The troop commitment is one part of a deployment by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which besides Bahrain and Saudi Arabia counts among its members Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (the latter of whom has committed 500 police officers). The UN and the U.S. have encouraged restraint and dialogue; and, thanks to those Saudi troops, the oil installations and financial institutions will remain open for as much restraint and dialogue as possible. [BBC]
Bahrain's ruling monarchy, no longer able to contain growing protests, has called in for help from Saudi Arabia. An adviser to the Khalifa family, Nabeel al-Hamer said, "Forces from the Gulf Cooperation Council have arrived in Bahrain to maintain order and security." According to AFP, 1,000 troops from Saudi Arabia's Gulf Peninsula Shield Force entered Bahrain yesterday. This could get ugly.
After killing protesters in their sleep, Bahrain's ruling monarchy says demonstrators can stay in Pearl roundabout and they've offered to hold talks with all opposition members. Yemen is still going off, and Human Rights Watch says 84 people have been killed in Libya over the last three days. Here's a look at what's happening across the Middle East and North Africa.
Whatever coalition remains from the defeated Iranian uprisings of 2009 hit the streets again today for demonstrations, hoping to build on momentum from the 2011 Tunisia-Egypt Wave of Freedom Everywhere. After all, the Iranian regime had been encouraging the demonstrations in Egypt; why shouldn't it allow such protests in its own streets? Because then the Iranian regime might get overthrown, duh.