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Bahraini Military Stands Down, Seeks Talks

Protesters jubilant as leaders order military to withdraw
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2011 8:21 AM CST
Bahraini Military Stands Down, Seeks Talks
Bahraini clerics pray at the pearl roundabout after the military pulled out in Manama, Bahrain, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011. The deputy chief of Bahrain's armed forces has ordered the military to withdraw from the streets of the capital. Army tanks are moving out of Manama's Pearl Square as Bahrain's monarchy...   (Hassan Ammar)

(Newser) – Bahrain protesters reclaimed their symbolic Pearl Square today, after the nation's leaders ordered the military to withdraw in a key concession that came just a day after a brutal crackdown that injured at least 50 and drew a sharp condemnation from President Obama. Members of the opposition chanted, "We are victorious," as they poured into the square carrying flags and flowers.

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Bahrain's king is signaling that he's open to talks with the opposition, reports the Washington Post, appointing his son, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa, as point man. The crown prince appeared briefly on state TV, reports the AP, to urge talks and calm. (Read more Bahrain stories.)

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