Saturday, March 12, 2011

Marching on al-Rifa': Not a Good Idea

It turns out that marching into the Al Khalifa capital and Sunni stronghold of al-Rifa' is not a good idea. Many news outlets (here is al-Wasat) are reporting now the huge clashes between Shi'a protesters and ordinary Sunnis (who, according to the Shi'a, were backed by police). Some 700-1,000 are reported injured, but once we adjust for the tendency toward exaggeration in the Arab world this is probably more like 200. Either way, the Shi'a forum BahrainOnline has some interesting pictures. Especially nice is this one of current Salafi parliamentarian Sh. Jassim al-Sa'idi exhorting fellow Sunnis with a sword:

For about 100 more, including of people wielding boards with nails pounded in them (I know, it sounds like something out of The Simpsons), go here.

Finally, this is all the more interesting because the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights is reporting that Bahrain is actively recruiting additional riot police and military personnel from Pakistan, even sending a delegation there from March 7 - 14. Perhaps they are finally hunkering down for the long haul.

Update: The picture above now comes complete with video.

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