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In a move that could further inflame the situation in Bahrain, three people were killed and dozens were injured early Thursday morning after police tried to disperse a demonstration in the Pearl Square in the capital Manama. Relatives named two of the victims as Mahmoud Makki Ali, 22, and Ali Mansour Ahmad Khoder, 52.
Bahraini security forces used tear gas as they moved in on the protesters, witnesses told AFP, and blasts and ambulance sirens could be heard a few hundred metres from the square. Protesters fled the square pursued by security forces, as a helicopter flew overhead.
The Shiite Al Wifaq opposition bloc announced Tuesday that its members in the parliament will stage a protest for the killing of two people during rallies calling for reforms and greater freedom in the kingdom. The king of Bahrain vowed to form a committee to investigate these deaths.
All these developments come after the uprising that toppled Tunisia Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and the events that led to the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Bahrain has recently witnessed sectarian tensions with the arrest and trial of Shia activists on charges of trying to change the regime by illegal means.