Bahrain Army Fires on Protesters; 50 Injured
'This is war,' says doctor treating the wounded
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 18, 2011 1:45 PM CST
Bahraini anti-government protesters chant anti-government slogans as they gather inside a building in Manama, Bahrain, Friday.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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(Newser) – Soldiers opened fire today on thousands of protesters defying a government ban and streaming toward the square in Manama that is the symbolic center of their uprising. Officials at the main Salmaniya hospital said at least 50 people were injured, some with gunshot wounds. Medical X-rays shows live bullets were used, and some doctors and medics on emergency medical teams were in tears as they tended to the wounded.

"This is a war," said Dr. Bassem Deif, an orthopedic surgeon. Protesters described a chaotic scene of tear gas clouds, bullets coming from many directions, and people slipping in pools of blood as they sought cover. Some claimed the gunfire came from either helicopters or sniper nests. It follows the surprise police raid on sleeping protesters that killed five. Click for a primer on the country and the protests.