Bahrain stays normal as police maintain vigil
Manama, August 15, 2013
Bahrain’s police were out in force yesterday as part of a nationwide security operation to guarantee public safety even as businesses ignored warnings by thugs not to open as part of an unsuccessful demonstration.
Checkpoints were set up around Bahrain during a failed attempt to mobilise against the government, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Radical groups had called for illegal rallies across the country as part of a so-called Tamarod (rebellion) movement, which sought to mirror demonstrations in Egypt.
Interior Minister Lieutenant-General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa visited several checkpoints and was informed of procedures aimed at providing safety to citizens and ensuring calm.
He praised security personnel for their dedication and stressed the ministry's commitment to the constitution and transparency.
The radical groups had also urged people to take part in a nationwide strike that was largely ignored by Bahrainis and expatriates.
They ignored a strike called by radical opposition groups under the so-called Tamarod (rebellion) movement.
Financial districts, cities and towns were largely unaffected by sporadic protests inside villages and attacks on policemen.
Security forces were on high alert across the country with checkpoints and road blocks in place at key intersections.
Barbed wire was also set up at entrances of villages and trouble hotspots to prevent riots from spilling onto main highways.
Additional members of the National Guard have also been guarding the former GCC (Pearl) roundabout since Tuesday.
The GDN witnessed Interior Ministry tow trucks stationed near the Seef District to remove vehicles that could be used by anti-government protesters to block roads and hinder traffic flow.
There was heavy riot police presence including armoured vehicles in Jidhafs, Sanabis, Duraz, Bilad Al Qadeem and Sitra.
Smaller stores in those areas were closed throughout the day after thugs reportedly distributed threatening letters to shop owners.
Traders in Jidhaf's central market were also busy taking orders from customers, while taxi drivers waited for passengers at the Bab Al Bahrain entrance.
Police patrols were also dispatched in troubled villages as hundreds of labourers continued work at construction sites.
Bahrain's largest government bodies and companies told the GDN attendance was normal yesterday.
"The attendance is perfect and everything is continuing as normal," said a Central Bank of Bahrain official.
An official from the Civil Service Bureau said work continued without any delays.
"Work in the bureau is the same as it always is," he said. "There is no unusual lack of attendance. The employees showed up to work as normal."
A Batelco spokesman said attendance at the company was "completely normal". Also, Gulf Air said its employee attendance was not "affected" and all operations were "running as normal". – TradeArabia News Service