Expressing grave concerns about Manama’s harsh measures against unarmed civilians over the past few days, the highly influential Ayatollah Sistani emphasized Wednesday on the necessity to resolve problems in the Shia-majority country “through peaceful means,” his spokesman Hamad al-Khaffaf, told AFP.
The statement came after hundreds of Bahraini riot police and Saudi forces, backed by tanks and helicopters, attacked demonstrators in Manama’s Pearl Square, the epicenter of anti-government protests, where demonstrators have camped out for weeks, killing at least six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.
The city’s main hospital, where the injured were being treated, was also attacked by Saudi forces and everyone inside the building, including doctors and nurses, were taken hostage.
Shias around the world have condemned the brutal crackdown by the ruling Sunni dynasty.
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Qatar have dispatched their armed forces to crisis-hit Bahrain to assist the rulers in Manama with their brutal crackdown on nationwide protests against the Sunni-led monarchy’s persistent suppression of the majority Shia population.
Foreign military intervention in Bahrain has also concerned UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has called for a meaningful and broad-based national dialogue.
The UN chief also urged Bahrain’s regional neighbors and the international community to support a dialogue process and an environment conducive to credible reform in Bahrain.
Bahraini demonstrators maintain that they will hold their ground until their demands for freedom, constitutional monarchy and a voice in the government are met.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Iraq and Kuwait have staged demonstrations in support of protesters in Bahrain.
Iran has recalled its ambassador to Bahrain as foreign troops join Bahraini government forces in their violent crackdown on peaceful protesters.
Following the military intervention of Saudi Arabia in Bahrain and the massacre of innocent protesters, the Islamic Republic has recalled its Ambassador to Manama Mehdi Aqa-Jafari to discuss the latest developments, according to a statement released by Iran’s foreign ministry on Wednesday.
The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) says state-organized murder is taking place in Bahrain as foreign forces join Manama to quell ant-regime protests.
More than 1,000 Saudi Arabian troops and 500 police from the United Arab Emirates, backed by tanks and helicopters, are in the oil-rich nation of Bahrain to help crush the month-long anti-government protests.
Witnesses said that Saudi forces have locked down the hospital, taking hostage everyone inside, including doctors and nurses.
BCHR said that doctors at Ibn al-Nafees hospital complain the army has raided the building and taken the body of a dead protester as well as several of the wounded.
Two Bahraini ministers have also resigned to protest against the government’s use of excessive force against Shia protesters in the kingdom.
Bahrain’s ministers of health and housing, both Shias, quit their posts on Wednesday after Bahraini and Saudi forces launched a brutal attack on anti-government protesters in the capital’s Pearl Square, killing at least six people and injuring more than 1,000 others.
There are also reports that Shia judges have resigned en masse, citing the “bloody events, use of excessive force and weapons.”
Bahraini demonstrators maintain that they will hold their ground until their demands for freedom, constitutional monarchy in the Persian Gulf sheikhdom and a say in the government are met.
While Kuwait will not dispatch its troops to Bahrain to help quell the anti-government protests in the country but it is making efforts to mediate in the disputes, an Arabic newspaper has reported.
“I will leave today (Wednesday) to Bahrain to hand over a letter from His Highness the Emir to his brother King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa,” the daily al-Jarida quoted Kuwaiti Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Mohammad al-Sabah as saying on Thursday