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  Updated: March 19, 2011

Najaf Hauzah calls for abrupt halt in violence against Bahrainis, slams foreign meddling, declares holiday in solidarity

By: Ismail Zabeeh

HOLY CTY OF NAJAF, Iraq: All the four grand Maraje of holy city of Najaf i.e. Sayed Ali al-Husseini As-Sistani, Sayed Muhammad Said al-Hakim, Sheikh Hafiz Bashir An-Najafi and Shiekh Ishaq Al-Fayad have strongly condemned massacre of Bahraini protesters at the hands of Bahraini security forces backed by Saudi-led Gulf forces of a joint Peninsula Shield contingent urging for dialogue to solve the problem.

Early Wednesday, hundreds of Bahraini riot police backed by tanks and helicopters fired shotguns and tear gas at demonstrators in Manama's Pearl Square, clearing the symbolic heart of the uprising in the strategic Gulf kingdom and leaving three protesters and two police dead.

Dozens wounded in the violent assault.

Armed forces from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates rolled into Bahrain on Monday at the invitation of the monarchy to help Manama deal with Shiite-led protesters.

The move was met with strong criticism from Iran and followed by Tehran and Manama withdrawing their respective ambassadors.

Meanwhile, Qatar officials acknowledged sending troops to Bahrain to put down protests against the king.

"The duty of the Qatari force participating in the Peninsula Shield force is to contribute in restoring order and security" in Bahrain, Qatar news agency QNA quoted Colonel Abdullah Al-Hajri as saying late Thursday.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has warned Bahrain that its crackdown on anti-government protesters might be breaking international law after his human rights chief spoke of "shocking and illegal" abuses.

Ayatollah Sayed Muhammad Said Al-Hakim, in his statement said he was surprised that the Bahraini government called Gulf forces to crush the protesters. He praised the refusal of some gulf states to participate in the continued operation against Bahraini protesters. The Ayatollah called on international and regional organizations to understand their responsibility towards Bahraini people.

Ayatollah Ali As-Sistani has announced holiday in Najaf Hauzaat on Saturday March 19 to express solidarity with the Bahraini people and to raise voice of protest against what happened to the innocent people i.e. brutal slaughter.

He urged Bahraini authorities to immediately stop violence against innocent citizens.

Ayatollah Sheikh Ishaq Al-Fayad strongly condemned Saudi and Emirati intervention in Bahrain calling Bahraini people not to go out from peaceful path in demanding their rights.

He further denounced Arab League that demanded from western states and UN to pressurize Libyan government in defense of its people while she drives her eyes back from violence in Bahrain that is duplicity.

In a statement from his office, Ayatollah Bashir an-Najafi said: "We were surprised that the Bahraini government asked for forces from neighboring countries, who targeted villages and oppressed the unarmed people who had raised slogans of peace, and were targeted by gunfire and mortars."

"We condemn this irresponsible act," Najafi said.

He further demanded from the government to save blood, honor and money and avoid sectarian violence. 


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