Chaos and crying at Bahrain hospital

2011-02-18 07:41

Manama - The screaming was nearly unbearable, almost as loud as the sirens on the ambulances delivering wounded protesters to the Salmaniya Medical Complex.

Victims came by the dozens - some hit with birdshot, others beaten and broken by the riot police who had destroyed the encampment at Manama's Pearl Square in a pre dawn raid on Thursday, an attack aimed at quelling dissent in this Gulf kingdom.

Soon Salmaniya was overrun, even though at least one driver wasn't allowed to pick up patients.

A paramedic said police stopped his ambulance on the way to the square and told him to turn back. When he refused, he was pulled out of the vehicle and beaten. His face was bruised and his body aching from the beating.

"I had to turn back, they were threatening us, calling us sympathizers with the protesters," he said, near tears. The paramedic spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears of reprisals from authorities.

As the closest hospital to the scene, Salmaniya bore the worst of the rush when wounded demonstrators made their way in for treatment. Those who weren't picked up by ambulances got rides from friends or relatives in private cars.

The overall toll from the melee, according to medical officials: at least four dead and more than 200 injured.

Bleeding heavily

At the emergency room, the body of one dead man was a mess of bloody pockmarks after being hit with police shotgun pellets. Other protesters were bleeding heavily from head wounds, had broken bones or were badly bruised. Nurses rushed in more patients on stretchers.

All the wounded seemed to be in shock or devastated - or both - while outside the emergency room about 100 angry relatives and protesters gathered, many still draped in the flags they wore to the demonstration.

Two angry men rushed out of the emergency room carrying framed pictures of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the prime minister - both members of the ruling dynasty - which were hanging inside. They smashed the portraits to the ground and stomped over the glass and splintered frames.

A man paced the pavement holding his hands up in prayer. Another tied a white piece of cloth around his forehead, the Islamic symbol of being willing to face death.

Cutting through it all were the wails of women, as piercing as any siren. Some tried to console each other, others tore at their robes, screaming "The people want the removal of the regime"!

There was one quiet space a short distance away - the morgue, which is in a separate building.

Shell-shocked

There, the father of one young men who died in the clashes sat shell-shocked, watching the news through furious, bloodshot eyes.

Makki Abu Taki said he was woken up early by one of his other sons telling him that 27-year old Mahmoud had been killed.

"I am proud that my son was martyred. I am not angry he died," said Abu Taki, 57. "But he was asleep, peaceful and they killed him in cold blood."

Abu Taki said Mahmoud had spent two nights in Pearl Square. In the last conversation with his father, he said he was fine.

"We are even angrier now. They think they can clamp down on us, but they have made us angrier," shouted Abu Taki his voice ringing in the morgue.

"We will take to the streets in larger numbers and honour our martyrs. The time for Al Khalifa has ended."

- AP

Read more on:    bahrain
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Brackenfell - 10:44 AM
    Road name: N1 Inbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at the R300 Highway - DELAYS
  • Wednesday Kuils River - 10:15 AM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - HEAVY DELAYS
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2775.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.