Bahraini crown prince calls for dialogue
The Bahraini crown prince has expressed condolences to citizens over the killing of demonstrators in Manama and called for dialogue, although security forces continue to use live fire on pro-democracy protesters in the capital, Press TV reported.
On Friday, security forces opened fire on Bahrainis who were heading toward Manama's Salmaniyeh hospital in silence to visit the people injured and hospitalized the previous day.
Dr. Ghasam, a resident at Salmaniyeh hospital, told Press TV that the incident, in which at least 55 people were injured, appeared to be an attempted massacre by the soldiers who were stationed near the hospital.
He also said that four of the injured people are in very critical condition.
After the incident, Sheikh Salman said that holding dialogue "in a climate of total calm" is the only way to solve the problems of the kingdom and added that "no issue can be excluded from that dialogue."
"What is happening today in Bahrain is not acceptable... We have reached a dangerous stage that necessitates that each of us acknowledges the responsibilities... Bahrain today is divided."
Sheikh Salman, who is known as a reformer, also expressed his condolences to the victims' families.
He went on to say that it will take time to evaluate the reasons for the uprising and to reunite the people.
The army had vowed to use "strict measures" to restore order after a deadly pre-dawn police raid on Thursday. Four pro-democracy protesters were killed and 231 others injured in the 3 a.m. attack on sleeping demonstrators at Pearl Square.
The crown prince made the announcement about a national dialogue soon after King Hamad assigned him to start those discussions.
Bahrain is of strategic importance to the United States since the US Navy's Fifth Fleet is based in the country and about 40 percent of the world's oil passes through the Persian Gulf.
Shia opposition MP Abdel Jalil Khalil Ibrahim said that a man was clinically dead after being hit in the head by a bullet in the incident.
Another opposition MP, Ali al-Aswad, accused the army of firing live ammunition at the people.