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Bahrain protesters didn't run away. They faced the bullets head-on

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An anti-government protester faces off against the Bahraini army during a clash with security forces near the Pearl roundabout on February 18, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain

An anti-government protester faces off against the Bahraini army during a clash with security forces near the Pearl roundabout on February 18, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain

An anti-government protester faces off against the Bahraini army during a clash with security forces near the Pearl roundabout on February 18, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain

An anti-government protester faces off against the Bahraini army during a clash with security forces near the Pearl roundabout on February 18, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain

John Moore

An unidentified Bahraini with blood from the injured stands in front of army tanks near the Pearl roundabout Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, in Manama, Bahrain. Soldiers fired tear gas and shot heavy weapons into the air as thousands of protest marchers defied a government ban Friday and streamed toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising against the Gulf nation's leaders. (AP Photo)

An unidentified Bahraini with blood from the injured stands in front of army tanks near the Pearl roundabout Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, in Manama, Bahrain. Soldiers fired tear gas and shot heavy weapons into the air as thousands of protest marchers defied a government ban Friday and streamed toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising against the Gulf nation's leaders. (AP Photo)

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  Protesters run from a cloud of teargas during a clash with Bahraini security forces near the Pearl roundabout on February 18, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Protesters said that the army fired on them with live rounds, followed by teargas which drove the demonstrators back. There are unconfirmed reports that there are four dead in the clashes.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)  ***BESTPIX***

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Protesters run from a cloud of teargas during a clash with Bahraini security forces near the Pearl roundabout on February 18, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Protesters said that the army fired on them with live rounds, followed by teargas which drove the demonstrators back. There are unconfirmed reports that there are four dead in the clashes. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

John Moore

An unidentified Bahraini man reacts after he helped an anti-government protester who was injured during a demonstration in Manama, Bahrain, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. Soldiers fired tear gas and shot heavy weapons into the air as thousands of protest marchers defied a government ban and streamed toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising against the Gulf nation's leaders. (AP Photo)

An unidentified Bahraini man reacts after he helped an anti-government protester who was injured during a demonstration in Manama, Bahrain, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. Soldiers fired tear gas and shot heavy weapons into the air as thousands of protest marchers defied a government ban and streamed toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising against the Gulf nation's leaders. (AP Photo)

A family member cries out at a funeral of an anti-government protester on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain

A family member cries out at a funeral of an anti-government protester on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain

John Moore

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  Friends and family members mourn during a funeral for slain anti-government protester Ali Ahmed al Muameen on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Friends and family members mourn during a funeral for slain anti-government protester Ali Ahmed al Muameen on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  Women mourn during a funeral for slain anti-government protester Ali Ahmed al Muameen on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried on Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Women mourn during a funeral for slain anti-government protester Ali Ahmed al Muameen on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried on Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  Friends and family members mourn during a funeral for slain anti-government protester Ali Ahmed al Muameen on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Friends and family members mourn during a funeral for slain anti-government protester Ali Ahmed al Muameen on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  People attend a funeral for slain anti-government protester Mahmood Makki on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried on Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: People attend a funeral for slain anti-government protester Mahmood Makki on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried on Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  Family members mourn during a funeral for slain anti-government protester Ali Ahmed al Muameen on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Family members mourn during a funeral for slain anti-government protester Ali Ahmed al Muameen on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  Friends and family members mourn during a funeral for slain anti-government protester Ali Ahmed al Muameen on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Friends and family members mourn during a funeral for slain anti-government protester Ali Ahmed al Muameen on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

Bahraini worshippers react with tears and shouts against the regime during midday prayers Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, in the Shiite Muslim village of Diraz, Bahrain, as Sheik Isa Qassim, Bahrain's top Shiite cleric, called the government assault on protesters at Pearl Square early Thursday a "massacre".  (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Bahraini worshippers react with tears and shouts against the regime during midday prayers Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, in the Shiite Muslim village of Diraz, Bahrain, as Sheik Isa Qassim, Bahrain's top Shiite cleric, called the government assault on protesters at Pearl Square early Thursday a "massacre". (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Hasan Jamali

** GRAPHIC CONTENT ** An unidentified Bahraini anti-government protestor is carried to a vehicle to be taken to a hospital after being wounded during a demonstration in Manama, Bahrain, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. Soldiers fired tear gas and shot heavy weapons into the air as thousands of protest marchers defied a government ban and streamed toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising against the Gulf nation's leaders.  (AP Photo)

** GRAPHIC CONTENT ** An unidentified Bahraini anti-government protestor is carried to a vehicle to be taken to a hospital after being wounded during a demonstration in Manama, Bahrain, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. Soldiers fired tear gas and shot heavy weapons into the air as thousands of protest marchers defied a government ban and streamed toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising against the Gulf nation's leaders. (AP Photo)

An unidentified Bahraini anti-government protestor is carried to a vehicle to be taken to a hospital after being wounded during a demonstration in Manama, Bahrain, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. Soldiers fired tear gas and shot heavy weapons into the air as thousands of protest marchers defied a government ban and streamed toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising against the Gulf nation's leaders. (AP Photo)

An unidentified Bahraini anti-government protestor is carried to a vehicle to be taken to a hospital after being wounded during a demonstration in Manama, Bahrain, Friday, Feb. 18, 2011. Soldiers fired tear gas and shot heavy weapons into the air as thousands of protest marchers defied a government ban and streamed toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising against the Gulf nation's leaders. (AP Photo)

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  Mourners march during a funeral procession for a slain anti-government protester on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Mourners march during a funeral procession for a slain anti-government protester on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  Pro-government demonstrators ride atop a car during a show of support for the monarchy on February 18, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Anti-government protesters were fired at with live ammunitions, with protesters saying it was followed by teargas, which drove the demonstrators back. There are unconfirmed reports that there are four dead in the clashes.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Pro-government demonstrators ride atop a car during a show of support for the monarchy on February 18, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Anti-government protesters were fired at with live ammunitions, with protesters saying it was followed by teargas, which drove the demonstrators back. There are unconfirmed reports that there are four dead in the clashes. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  Pro-government demonstrators ride atop cars during a show of support for the monarchy on February 18, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Anti-government protesters were fired at with live ammunitions, with protesters saying it was followed by teargas, which drove the demonstrators back. There are unconfirmed reports that there are four dead in the clashes.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Pro-government demonstrators ride atop cars during a show of support for the monarchy on February 18, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Anti-government protesters were fired at with live ammunitions, with protesters saying it was followed by teargas, which drove the demonstrators back. There are unconfirmed reports that there are four dead in the clashes. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  Mourners march during a funeral procession for a slain anti-government protester on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Mourners march during a funeral procession for a slain anti-government protester on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  Mourners embrace at a funeral for a slain anti-government protester on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: Mourners embrace at a funeral for a slain anti-government protester on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18:  A woman mourns during a funeral procession for a slain anti-government protester on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

SITRA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 18: A woman mourns during a funeral procession for a slain anti-government protester on February 18, 2011 in Sitra, Bahrain. Three slain protesters were buried Friday. Security forces opened up with live ammunition on demonstrators in fresh clashes in the early evening, resulting in unconfirmed reports of four dead and undetermined amount wounded. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

Anti-government demonstrators flee after being attacked by Bahraini riot police at the Pearl roundabout in Manama, Bahrain.

Anti-government demonstrators flee after being attacked by Bahraini riot police at the Pearl roundabout in Manama, Bahrain.

Hasan Jamali

Mourners pray during the funeral for Fadhel Salman al-Matrook on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011, in Manama, Bahrain. Al-Matrook was killed Tuesday when police tried to stop a funeral march for another Bahraini killed in anti-government protests. Protesters demanding sweeping political reforms from Bahrain's rulers held their ground Wednesday in an Egypt-style occupation of the capital's landmark square, staging a third day of demonstrations that have brought unprecedented pressures in one of Washington's most strategic allies in the Gulf. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Mourners pray during the funeral for Fadhel Salman al-Matrook on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011, in Manama, Bahrain. Al-Matrook was killed Tuesday when police tried to stop a funeral march for another Bahraini killed in anti-government protests. Protesters demanding sweeping political reforms from Bahrain's rulers held their ground Wednesday in an Egypt-style occupation of the capital's landmark square, staging a third day of demonstrations that have brought unprecedented pressures in one of Washington's most strategic allies in the Gulf. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Hasan Jamali

Mourners carry the body of Fadhel Salman al-Matrook to a Manama, Bahrain, cemetery Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Al-Matrook was killed when police tried to stop a funeral march Tuesday for another anti-government demonstrator. Protesters demanding sweeping political reforms from Bahrain's rulers held their ground Wednesday in an Egypt-style occupation of the capital's landmark square, staging a third day of demonstrations that have brought unprecedented pressures in one of Washington's most strategic allies in the Gulf. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Mourners carry the body of Fadhel Salman al-Matrook to a Manama, Bahrain, cemetery Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Al-Matrook was killed when police tried to stop a funeral march Tuesday for another anti-government demonstrator. Protesters demanding sweeping political reforms from Bahrain's rulers held their ground Wednesday in an Egypt-style occupation of the capital's landmark square, staging a third day of demonstrations that have brought unprecedented pressures in one of Washington's most strategic allies in the Gulf. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Hasan Jamali

Bahrani riot policemen are seen after attacking demonstrators camping at the Pearl roundabout in Manama.

Bahrani riot policemen are seen after attacking demonstrators camping at the Pearl roundabout in Manama.

Hassan Ammar

Bahraini anti-government demonstrators take an injured protester to a hospital in Manama, Bahrain

Bahraini anti-government demonstrators take an injured protester to a hospital in Manama, Bahrain

Hassan Ammar

Women weep outside the morgue after at least four people died and hundreds were left injured when police stormed an anti-government protester camp in the capital's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011

Women weep outside the morgue after at least four people died and hundreds were left injured when police stormed an anti-government protester camp in the capital's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011

John Moore

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17:  The closed Seef shopping mall is lit up at dusk after police cracked down on an anti-government demonstrators encampment, killing at least four demonstrators and wounding many more early on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. Protests have erupted against the absolute monarchy in Bahrain as anti-government turmoil continues to spread across the Middle East.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17: The closed Seef shopping mall is lit up at dusk after police cracked down on an anti-government demonstrators encampment, killing at least four demonstrators and wounding many more early on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. Protests have erupted against the absolute monarchy in Bahrain as anti-government turmoil continues to spread across the Middle East. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17:  Women weep outside a hospital morgue after at least three people died and hundreds were left injured when police stormed an anti-government protester camp in the capital's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17: Women weep outside a hospital morgue after at least three people died and hundreds were left injured when police stormed an anti-government protester camp in the capital's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17:  A mother holds her injured son inside a hospital after at least three people died and hundreds were left injured when police stormed an anti-government protester camp in the capital's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17: A mother holds her injured son inside a hospital after at least three people died and hundreds were left injured when police stormed an anti-government protester camp in the capital's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17:  Anti-government protesters lie down to rest just hours before police cracked down on their encampment, killing at least four demonstrators and wounding many more early on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. Protests have erupted against the absolute monarchy in Bahrain as anti-government turmoil continues to spread across the Middle East.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17: Anti-government protesters lie down to rest just hours before police cracked down on their encampment, killing at least four demonstrators and wounding many more early on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. Protests have erupted against the absolute monarchy in Bahrain as anti-government turmoil continues to spread across the Middle East. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17:  Anti-government protesters attend an overnight demonstration just hours before police cracked down on their encampment, killing at least four demonstrators and wounding many more early on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. Protests have erupted against the absolute monarchy in Bahrain as anti-government turmoil continues to spread across the Middle East.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17: Anti-government protesters attend an overnight demonstration just hours before police cracked down on their encampment, killing at least four demonstrators and wounding many more early on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. Protests have erupted against the absolute monarchy in Bahrain as anti-government turmoil continues to spread across the Middle East. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17:  Part of Bahrain's skyline is seen at dusk after police cracked down on an anti-government demonstrators encampment nearby, killing at least four demonstrators and wounding many more early on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. Protests have erupted against the absolute monarchy in Bahrain as anti-government turmoil continues to spread across the Middle East.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17: Part of Bahrain's skyline is seen at dusk after police cracked down on an anti-government demonstrators encampment nearby, killing at least four demonstrators and wounding many more early on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. Protests have erupted against the absolute monarchy in Bahrain as anti-government turmoil continues to spread across the Middle East. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17:  Women weep outside a hospital morgue after at least three people died and hundreds were left injured when police stormed an anti-government protester camp in the capital's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17: Women weep outside a hospital morgue after at least three people died and hundreds were left injured when police stormed an anti-government protester camp in the capital's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

John Moore

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17:  Anti-government protesters cheer along a highway just hours before police cracked down on their encampment, killing at least four demonstrators and wounding many more early on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. Protests have erupted against the absolute monarchy in Bahrain as anti-government turmoil continues to spread across the Middle East.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17: Anti-government protesters cheer along a highway just hours before police cracked down on their encampment, killing at least four demonstrators and wounding many more early on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. Protests have erupted against the absolute monarchy in Bahrain as anti-government turmoil continues to spread across the Middle East. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17:  Women weep outside a hospital morgue after at least three people died and hundreds were left injured when police stormed an anti-government protester camp in the capital's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17: Women weep outside a hospital morgue after at least three people died and hundreds were left injured when police stormed an anti-government protester camp in the capital's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17:  Anti-government protesters attend an overnight demonstration just hours before police cracked down on their encampment, killing at least four demonstrators and wounding many more early on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. Protests have erupted against the absolute monarchy in Bahrain as anti-government turmoil continues to spread across the Middle East.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

MANAMA, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 17: Anti-government protesters attend an overnight demonstration just hours before police cracked down on their encampment, killing at least four demonstrators and wounding many more early on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Police moved into Pearl Square overnight using batons and tear gas to clear pro-democracy protesters from their makeshift camp, resulting in fatalities and a large number of casualties. Protests have erupted against the absolute monarchy in Bahrain as anti-government turmoil continues to spread across the Middle East. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

John Moore

In this image from video riot police firing tear gas and wielding clubs storm Pearl Square occupied by anti-government protesters before dawn Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 driving out demonstrators and destroying a makeshift encampment that had become the hub for demands to bring sweeping political changes to the kingdom. (AP Photo/Tony Mitchell, HO)

In this image from video riot police firing tear gas and wielding clubs storm Pearl Square occupied by anti-government protesters before dawn Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 driving out demonstrators and destroying a makeshift encampment that had become the hub for demands to bring sweeping political changes to the kingdom. (AP Photo/Tony Mitchell, HO)

Tony Mitchell

Bahraini anti-government demonstrators shout anti-goverment slogans after riot police attacked demonstrators in Manama, Bahrain, early Thursday morning, Feb. 17, 2011.  Some people appeared unbowed as armed patrols prowled neighborhoods and tanks appeared in the streets for the first time Thursday after riot police with tear gas and clubs drove protesters from a main square where they had demanded sweeping political change in this tiny kingdom. Medical officials said four people were killed. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Bahraini anti-government demonstrators shout anti-goverment slogans after riot police attacked demonstrators in Manama, Bahrain, early Thursday morning, Feb. 17, 2011. Some people appeared unbowed as armed patrols prowled neighborhoods and tanks appeared in the streets for the first time Thursday after riot police with tear gas and clubs drove protesters from a main square where they had demanded sweeping political change in this tiny kingdom. Medical officials said four people were killed. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Hassan Ammar

Anti-government demonstrators' damaged tents are seen at the Pearl roundabout in Manama, Bahrain, early Thursday morning, Feb. 17, 2011, after riot police attacked them. Riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets stormed a landmark square occupied by anti-government protesters Thursday, driving out demonstrators and destroying a makeshift encampment that had become the hub for demands to bring sweeping political changes to the kingdom. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Anti-government demonstrators' damaged tents are seen at the Pearl roundabout in Manama, Bahrain, early Thursday morning, Feb. 17, 2011, after riot police attacked them. Riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets stormed a landmark square occupied by anti-government protesters Thursday, driving out demonstrators and destroying a makeshift encampment that had become the hub for demands to bring sweeping political changes to the kingdom. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Hassan Ammar

A Bahraini anti-government demonstrator shows tear gas canisters fired by riot police attacking campers at the Pearl roundabout, in Manama, Bahrain, early Thursday morning, Feb. 17, 2011. Riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets stormed a landmark square occupied by anti-government protesters Thursday, driving out demonstrators and destroying a makeshift encampment that had become the hub for demands to bring sweeping political changes to the kingdom. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

A Bahraini anti-government demonstrator shows tear gas canisters fired by riot police attacking campers at the Pearl roundabout, in Manama, Bahrain, early Thursday morning, Feb. 17, 2011. Riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets stormed a landmark square occupied by anti-government protesters Thursday, driving out demonstrators and destroying a makeshift encampment that had become the hub for demands to bring sweeping political changes to the kingdom. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Hassan Ammar

Bahraini soldiers in tanks and armored vehicles stand ready Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011, near a main highway west of the capital of Manama, Bahrain. Armed patrols prowled neighborhoods and tanks appeared in the streets for the first time Thursday after riot police with tear gas and clubs drove protesters from a main square where they had demanded sweeping political change in this tiny kingdom. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Bahraini soldiers in tanks and armored vehicles stand ready Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011, near a main highway west of the capital of Manama, Bahrain. Armed patrols prowled neighborhoods and tanks appeared in the streets for the first time Thursday after riot police with tear gas and clubs drove protesters from a main square where they had demanded sweeping political change in this tiny kingdom. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

Hasan Jamali

A Bahraini anti-government demonstrator works on her laptop in a tent camping out in protest at the Pearl roundabout in Manama, Bahrain, early Thursday morning, Feb. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

A Bahraini anti-government demonstrator works on her laptop in a tent camping out in protest at the Pearl roundabout in Manama, Bahrain, early Thursday morning, Feb. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Hassan Ammar

Bahraini soldiers in tanks and armoured vehicles stand ready  near a main road west of the capital Manama.

Bahraini soldiers in tanks and armoured vehicles stand ready near a main road west of the capital Manama.

Hasan Jamali

Bahraini anti-government demonstrators watch a soccer game between Barcelona and Arsenal on a TV projector while camping out in protest at the Pearl roundabout in Manama.

Bahraini anti-government demonstrators watch a soccer game between Barcelona and Arsenal on a TV projector while camping out in protest at the Pearl roundabout in Manama.

Hassan Ammar

Bahraini anti-government protesters prepare for a second night camping out at the Pearl roundabout in Manama, before the assault by riot police.

Bahraini anti-government protesters prepare for a second night camping out at the Pearl roundabout in Manama, before the assault by riot police.

Hasan Jamali

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An anti-government protester faces off against the Bahraini army during a clash with security forces near the Pearl roundabout on February 18, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain

"Massacre – it's a massacre," the doctors were shouting. Three dead. Four dead. One man was carried past me on a stretcher in the emergency room, blood spurting on to the floor from a massive bullet wound in his thigh.

A few feet away, six nurses were fighting for the life of a pale-faced, bearded man with blood oozing out of his chest. "I have to take him to theatre now," a doctor screamed. "There is no time – he's dying!"



Others were closer to death. One poor youth – 18, 19 years old, perhaps – had a terrible head wound, a bullet hole in the leg and a bloody mess on his chest. The doctor beside him turned to me weeping, tears splashing on to his blood-stained gown. "He has a fragmented bullet in his brain and I can't get the bits out, and the bones on the left side of his head are completely smashed. His arteries are all broken. I just can't help him." Blood was cascading on to the floor. It was pitiful, outrageous, shameful. These were not armed men but mourners returning from a funeral, Shia Muslims of course, shot down by their own Bahraini army yesterday afternoon.



A medical orderly was returning with thousands of other men and women from the funeral at Daih of one of the demonstrators killed at Pearl Square in the early hours of Thursday.



"We decided to walk to the hospital because we knew there was a demonstration. Some of us were carrying tree branches as a token of peace which we wanted to give to the soldiers near the square, and we were shouting 'peace, peace. There was no provocation – nothing against the government. Then suddenly the soldiers started shooting. One was firing a machine gun from the top of a personnel carrier. There were police but they just left as the soldiers shot at us. But you know, the people in Bahrain have changed. They didn't want to run away. They faced the bullets with their bodies."



The demonstration at the hospital had already drawn thousands of Shia protesters – including hundreds of doctors and nurses from all over Manama, still in their white gowns – to demand the resignation of the Bahraini Minister of Health, Faisal Mohamed al-Homor, for refusing to allow ambulances to fetch the dead and injured from Thursday morning's police attack on the Pearl Square demonstrators.



But their fury turned to near-hysteria when the first wounded were brought in yesterday. Up to 100 doctors crowded into the emergency rooms, shouting and cursing their King and their government as paramedics fought to push trolleys loaded with the latest victims through screaming crowds. One man had a thick wad of bandages stuffed into his chest but blood was already staining his torso, dripping off the trolley. "He has a live round in his chest – and now there is air and blood in his lungs," the nurse beside him told me. "I think he is going." Thus did the anger of Bahrain's army – and, I suppose, the anger of the al-Khalifa family, the King included – reach the Sulmaniya medical centre.

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The staff felt that they too were victims. And they were right. Five ambulances sent to the street – yesterday's victims were shot down opposite a fire station close to Pearl Square – were stopped by the army. Moments later, the hospital discovered that all their mobile phones had been switched off. Inside the hospital was a doctor, Sadeq al-Aberi, who was himself badly hurt by the police when he went to help the wounded on Thursday morning.



Rumours burned like petrol in Bahrain yesterday and many medical staff were insisting that up to 60 corpses had been taken from Pearl Square on Thursday morning and that police were seen by crowds loading bodies into three refrigerated trucks. One man showed me a mobile phone snapshot in which the three trucks could be seen clearly, parked behind several army armoured personnel carriers. According to other demonstrators, the vehicles, which bore Saudi registration plates, were later seen on the highway to Saudi Arabia. It is easy to dismiss such ghoulish stories, but I found one man – another male nurse at the hospital who works under the umbrella of the United Nations – who told me that an American colleague, he gave his name as "Jarrod", had videotaped the bodies being put into the trucks but was then arrested by the police and had not been seen since.



Why has the royal family of Bahrain allowed its soldiers to open fire at peaceful demonstrators? To turn on Bahraini civilians with live fire within 24 hours of the earlier killings seems like an act of lunacy.



But the heavy hand of Saudi Arabia may not be far away. The Saudis are fearful that the demonstrations in Manama and the towns of Bahrain will light equally provocative fires in the east of their kingdom, where a substantial Shia minority lives around Dhahran and other towns close to the Kuwaiti border. Their desire to see the Shia of Bahrain crushed as quickly as possible was made very clear at Thursday's Gulf summit here, with all the sheikhs and princes agreeing that there would be no Egyptian-style revolution in a kingdom which has a Shia majority of perhaps 70 per cent and a small Sunni minority which includes the royal family.



Yet Egypt's revolution is on everyone's lips in Bahrain. Outside the hospital, they were shouting: "The people want to topple the minister," a slight variation of the chant of the Egyptians who got rid of Mubarak, "The people want to topple the government."

And many in the crowd said – as the Egyptians said – that they had lost their fear of the authorities, of the police and army.



The policemen and soldiers for whom they now express such disgust were all too evident on the streets of Manama yesterday, watching sullenly from midnight-blue armoured vehicles or perched on American-made tanks. There appeared to be no British weaponry in evidence – although these are early days and there was Russian-made armour alongside the M-60 tanks. In the past, small Shia uprisings were ruthlessly crushed in Bahrain with the help of a Jordanian torturer and a senior intelligence factotum who just happened to be a former British Special Branch officer.



And the stakes here are high. This is the first serious insurrection in the wealthy Gulf states – more dangerous to the Saudis than the Islamists who took over the centre of Mecca more than 30 years ago – and Bahrain's al-Khalifa family realise just how fraught the coming days will be for them. A source which has always proved reliable over many years told me that late on Wednesday night, a member of the al-Khalifa family – said to be the Crown Prince – held a series of telephone conversations with a prominent Shia cleric, the Wifaq Shia party leader, Ali Salman, who was camping in Pearl Square. The Prince apparently offered a series of reforms and government changes which he thought the cleric had approved. But the demonstrators stayed in the square. They demanded the dissolution of parliament. Then came the police.



In the early afternoon yesterday, around 3,000 people held a rally in support of the al-Khalifas and there was much waving of the national flag from the windows of cars. This may make the front pages of the Bahraini press today – but it won't end the Shia uprising. And last night's chaos at Manama's greatest hospital – the blood slopping off the wounded, the shouts for help from those on the stretchers, the doctors who had never before seen such gunshot wounds; one of them simply shook his head in disbelief when a woman went into a fit next to a man who was sheathed in blood – has only further embittered the Shia of this nation.



A doctor who gave his name as Hussein stopped me leaving the emergency room because he wanted to explain his anger. "The Israelis do this sort of thing to the Palestinians – but these are Arabs shooting at Arabs," he bellowed above the din of screams and shouts of fury. "This is the Bahraini government doing this to their own people. I was in Egypt two weeks ago, working at the Qasr el-Aini hospital – but things are much more fucked up here."


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