Saturday, December 03, 2005

Bahrain Unrest Mirrors Paris Riots

Violent demonstrations similar to the Paris riots have rocked the tiny country of Bahrain, on an island in the Persian Gulf, since Tuesday. From the Khaleej Times:
MANAMA — Rioters burned cars and set off explosions with gas cylinders on Thursday in the third night of unrest in Bahrain, and 15 people were arrested, police said.

Among those arrested were children aged between 13 and 15, caught after police used tear gas to break up a protest where rioters stole a car and set it ablaze, an Interior Ministry official said.

The unrest has flared since a committee for Bahrain’s unemployed organised protests against joblessness and to demand an investigation into a claim of an assault by unidentified men, believed to be armed security officials, on committee member Moussa Abdaali.

“When police approached them, they hurled stones and Molotov bombs at the units, before taking refuge in a nearby village from which they continued their attacks,” the official said.

A night earlier, rioters set two police cars ablaze and damaged at least three other private cars.
The similarity to the Paris riots may not be coincidental.
A Bahraini official has accused the organisers of attempting to mimic the riots against poverty, crime and unemployment that shook France’s suburbs and cities in late October and November.

The head of the capital security directorate, Colonel Isa Al Musalam, has called the protests a campaign to incite unrest with the aim of striking terror with the public.