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BAHRAIN: Protesters shot as government seeks to smother protests [Video]

February 19, 2011 |  2:02 am

Internet videos show peaceful protesters in Bahrain coming under fire as reports surface that the government used live ammunition  Friday to repel anti-government demonstrators attempting to retake a main square from which they had been violently ousted Thursday.

Picture 19 At least five people have died in the recent unrest, with dozens more injured. The opposition has so far rejected talks with the government, ruled by the Khalifa royal family, until "tanks are off the streets."

Although the protest movement in Bahrain is fueled by economic and political concerns, the breakdown of power runs along sectarian lines. The country's Shia majority complains of discrimination and abuse at the hands of the Sunni-dominated government.

The United States Navy's Fifth Fleet is also stationed in Bahrain, which is considered a close ally.

President Obama reiterated his call for restraint Friday, saying he was "deeply concerned" about reports of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen.

--Meris Lutz in Beirut

Top Video: Protesters in Bahrain come under fire; several are injured or killed. Credit: YouTube. Screenshot: several protesters appear injured or dead in the video. Credit: Meris Lutz. Bottom Video: Protesters are fired on while trying to retake a main square that had been the center of antigovernment demonstrations. Credit: YouTube