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Bahraini woman dies of gunshot wounds

Posted by on March 22, 2011 0 Comment

Bahrain’s main opposition party, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, say a Bahraini woman has succumbed to gunshot wounds she had earlier sustained to her head.

Bahiya al-Aradi died on Tuesday and her funeral is to be held later in the day, Reuters quoted Wefaq bloc as saying.

Wefaq said the exact circumstances of how she was shot were not clear. She had apparently been driving her car in the west of the capital Manama on Wednesday, when security forces launched a crackdown against anti-regime protesters.

Aradi’s death brings to seven the number of Bahraini civilians confirmed killed since last Wednesday’s crackdown.

The dispatch of troops from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf allies of Bahrain has highlighted concerns about possible spillover of the uprising in the country, where month-old protest rallies seek to end the Western-backed government’s monopoly on power.

Saudi and other Arab rulers fear that any concession by Bahrain’s rulers could embolden more protests against their own despotic rules.

Recently, mass protests in Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Yemen have also demanded government reforms.

Foreign military interventions in Bahrain have served as a cause of concern for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has called for a meaningful and broad-based national dialogue.

The UN chief has 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 opposition groups, including the main bloc al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, have denounced the Saudi military intervention as an invasion of their country.

The US military, which has its Fifth Fleet based there, has avoided describing the foreign troop intervention in Bahrain as an invasion.

Bahraini demonstrators maintain that they will hold their ground until their demands for freedom, constitutional monarchy as well as a proportional voice in the government are met.

At least 20 people have so far been killed and about 1,000 others have been injured since anti-government protests in the Persian Gulf island nation began in mid-February.

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