Framework

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Thousands of people gathered outside Salmaniya Medical Complex after government forces opened fire on protesters for the second time in as many days, injuring several of them.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

An injured man is transported to the hospital after being injured when Bahrain's security forces opened up on anti-government protesters for the second time in as many days. Tear gas and live rounds were fired into the crowd as they marched toward the Pearl roundabout.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

An injured man yells about the current situation in Bahrain. Several people were transported to a local hospital for treatment from tear gas and gunshot wounds.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Doctors and nurses tend to the wounded at the Salmaniya Medical Complex in Manama, Bahrain, after government security forces fired on demonstrators as they approached the Pearl Square roundabout Friday evening. At least 50 people were injured.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Doctors at the Salmaniya Medical Complex try to save the life of a man with a serious gunshot wound after security forces in Bahrain opened fire on protesters as they tried to make their way to the Pearl roundabout again after being cleared away tear gas the day before.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

The body of Mahmood Makki, 23, is washed and prepped for burial Friday after he was killed early Thursday morning as government forces cleared out the Pearl roundabout which had hundreds of anti-government protesters.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

One of several family members and friends of Ali Ahmed Al Muameen, 23, say their goodbyes before he was buried Friday afternoon after being killed by security forces in Bahrain the day before.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

The body of Mahmoud Makki, 23, is carried through the streets Friday as mourners make their way to the cemetery. Makki was among those killed after Bahraini government forces stormed Pearl Square in Manama on Thursday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

People mourn the loss of Mahmood Makki, 23, who was killed by government forces when he was part of a demonstration on Thursday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Women react as the body of one of those killed by security forces in Bahrain is led through the streets of Sitra on the way to burial. Thousands of people attended the funeral.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

The flag of Bahrain flies during a funeral procession for one of the people killed by security forces.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

A woman screams as a funeral procession makes its way through the streets on Friday where three funerals were held for anti-government protesters that were killed on Thursday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Funeral marchers chant as they head to the cemetery for the burial of a person killed by Bahraini security forces.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Pro-government supports took to the streets of Bahrain in their own show of force as they jammed several highways waving flags and cheering their support on Friday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Wearing a Bahrain flag tied into a cape, a man prays with others Friday in the city that hosted three funerals for victims of a government crackdown on protesters at the Pearl roundabout.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

Pro-government supporters in favor of King Hamad Ibn Isa Al Khalifa rally along one of Bahrain's highways. Hundreds turned up and blocked the road in several places.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Rick Loomis / Los Angeles Times

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Security forces in Manama, Bahrain, continued their attack on anti-government protesters around  Pearl Square. At least 50 people were wounded as funerals were held for several protesters killed on Thursday.  Los Angeles Times photographer Rick Loomis is in Bahrain, covering the conflict, along with Times reporter Ned Parker, who filed this story.

Here is Loomis’ account:

Thursday night in Bahrain, thousands of people were gathered at the Salmaniya Medical Complex where those injured or killed in the 3 a.m. raid on the Pearl roundabout were taken in the aftermath.  Friday morning we planned to be at the hospital by 7:30 as the bodies of three people were to be moved at 8 a.m.

When we arrived, it was a ghost town; the chanting masses had dispersed and moved to a nearby town called Sitra.  Over the course of the day I photographed three funerals in succession for those killed by government forces.  The mood was solemn but there was also an undercurrent of anger at the government.

I photographed the customary washing of the bodies and wrapping in gauze. Then there were long processions filling the streets as the burials were all held in different areas of town.  Thousands marched on foot. Men cried openly for their losses while most women gathered together, wailing behind their traditional black abayaas.

After the funerals, there was a rumor of a pro-government rally to counter the anti-government protests that have been taking place, so after a short debate, a car-load of journalists headed off to find it.  The debate centered on whether or not we would be permitted to shoot freely in this crowd as the government here has not been supportive of journalists trying to tell the story.

A couple of quick examples are the rumor, and rumors have been rampant here, that a large group of arriving journalists were turned around Friday once they landed at the airport.  And colleague of mine, John Moore of Getty Images, who came in on the same flight I did but was stripped of all of his camera gear as well as his laptop.  He bought a low-budget consumer camera to use the first day and Thursday when we met up I gave him some of my spare gear to use.

The pro-government rally turned out to be an enormous traffic jam of supporters crowding the highways, waving flags and showing photographs of the king.  They gave us no trouble and it was good to be able to show that side of the story as well.

In the evening,  just after sunset, I heard that a group of thousands was heading to the Pearl roundabout to try to return to the area they had been forcefully removed from the day before.  As I packed up to leave, gunfire could be heard in the distance.  We set out on foot but then decided that going by car would be safest.  The car dropped us in the middle of group of protesters and from there we went by foot closer to the front.

As we approached, sniper fire cracked overhead and we retreated, ducking for a couple of minutes behind a car before deciding to move toward the front again.  We heard a rumor that forces were targeting  journalists, so it made the walk a bit more nerve-wracking.  When we were less than 100 yards from the front, gunfire and tear gas grenades were volleyed directly toward us.

Running and choking on tear gas, I got trapped in some bushes for a minute before breaking free and heading away from the fire.  I stopped to shoot two frames of a wounded protester being loading into an ambulance but then it was time to flee.

I made it back to the same hospital that we found empty this morning and it was bustling with doctors and nurses tending to those overcome by the pungent tear gas as well as gunshot victims.  There were men, women and children being treated.  I donned scrubs to go into the operating room where a doctor had practically had his whole arm inside the chest cavity of one of the victims as he tried to save his life.  When I left the hospital again there were thousands of people occupying the parking lot, angry like they were the night before.

The final rumor of the day was that I had gotten shot during the melee. Word had made it all the way back to my newspaper before I checked in to send photographs. I was not injured but we are still trying to find out if, indeed, a western photographer was injured.  Hopefully it’s a rumor that won’t turn out to be true.

Warning: This gallery contains several graphic images.

10 Comments

  1. February 18, 2011, 2:56 pm

    Please pass on to your photographer, so he may pass on to others: ordinary talcum powder is a good substitute for Fullers Earth powder regarding treating tear gas effects. Sprinkle it liberally over the affected areas, then dab off with a clean tissue or cloth; don't rub it off, dab it off. Don't use soap and water, or even water on its own, as this will re-activate the choking agent.

    Hope he and the other photogs get the coverage and that they come back Okay.

    By: Paul
  2. February 18, 2011, 3:39 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John Bottomley and citoyen danton, Thomas Valadon. Thomas Valadon said: Les événements à #Bahrein en images : http://tinyurl.com/6x8gz26 (via @LATimesPhotos ) [...]

  3. February 18, 2011, 4:35 pm

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Carole Strong, Scott Bridges. Scott Bridges said: Bahrain photo essay: http://j.mp/eKifGy [...]

  4. February 18, 2011, 6:39 pm

    [...] protesters were being fired at from helicopters, with even paramedics forced to dodge bullets. The LA Times has photos of doctors trying to save the victims. Obama issued a perfunctory statement earlier [...]

  5. February 19, 2011, 12:54 am

    listen buddy ,,
    I am from bahrain , and I am sick of watching the media covering one side of the story only !!
    don't tell me you covered the rally which was supporting the government, because all you wrote was 3 or 4 lines when you filled the page with the only story you all reporters want to cover which is the anti-gov!!
    first of all, bahrain has rules about rallies and any demonstrations which where set by the parliament in bahrain – Oh did I mention that more than 50% of the parliament is from one group which is right now against the gov- and they have agreed on it before long long time.
    any demonstrations taking place in Bahrian should be licensed so that it will be organised and announced for the public to avoid going in that street not to get in traffic if they were in a hurry.
    the gathering in the pearl roundabout -which is the main roundabout connecting all parts of bahrain was not licensed, but still the government let them stay there. and after 1 hour of going there, they had screen TVs!! Sheesha!! food!! tents and all the entertainment features you can imagine – and they say people of bahrain are poor-.
    (Continued in next Comment)..

    By: ConcernedBH
  6. February 19, 2011, 12:54 am

    any way , those people may have reached there tops when there were 4000 poeple there, not to mention bahrain's population has reached 1 million this year – you do the maths-!! and all of a sudden they starting to talk on behalf of all bahran's people!! Who gave them the right !! who are they !! they are not even 10% of us!! we do not want to change our leaders! we are living AlHamdulla an amazing life here, and you can ask any British or american living here about the life here before all this started. these people want bahrain to be taken by Iran , just before the whole thing started there leader told them that they wanted a new leader here just like the one was in Iran- you would know all that if you watched bahrain national TV- and do not tell me not to believe that because you are believing channels and people's who are known for lying before while you refuse to believe the channel which has never showed a false news.
    (continued in next comment..)

    By: ConcernedBH
  7. February 19, 2011, 12:55 am

    did you know that the unemployment in bahrain is less than 5% which is less than both US and UK , and did you know that bahrain government cuts of 1% of EVERY employed salary to provide a monthly salary for the unemployed people until they get a real job!!
    if you are a journalist please please do not lose your credibility by taking one side here, this is not Egypt or Tunisia, if bahrain falls , all the gulf will , and Iran will take over and you can complete the scene yourself.
    in bahrain any demonstration should not be more than 3 days, people in the roundabout knew that they have to go back before 12 AM on Wednesday, but they did not, instead they brought their 2 years old and put them in a life threatening situation, is that very responsible!?
    policemen has been seriously injured but the media refuses to show that the way it shows the only side as i said before, when the policemen where injured they started to shoot to protect them selves. they were injured by knives and swords, one of them his 4 fingers were cut and 5 were dead at the scene.
    you do not have to believe me as all the media refuses to believe any thing on the other side.
    (continued in next comment)…

    By: ConcernedBH
  8. February 19, 2011, 12:56 am

    100,000 people went yesterday not just support the government but to support BAHRAIN !! we miss our country we miss being safe again with all this going out. but the media did not show that -of course-
    I am very sorry for the people who died on both sides, they are all bahrainis ,
    but what happened yesterday was just pure stupidity, is that the roundabout was declared as a military area which was not to be entered by group or gathering, and everybody in bahrain knew that, so those people walked to their death on their own , what happened yesterday was a reckless act by the people, YOU DO NOT GO INTO A MILITARY AREA PEOPLE! but you did not show it that way , did you?
    and by the way , is it professorial for doctors to leave their jobs and the patients inside to go out and shout few shouts? or is it possible for people to gather around a hospital like you showed in the pictures!! there are sick people inside! how would they feel with this going out their window?? people who are suffering from cancer, children who are having surgeries and babies being born all are inside that hospital people gathered around IT IS A HOSPITAL NOT A PLACE TO PROTEST,,
    (continued in next comment)..

    By: ConcernedBH
  9. February 19, 2011, 12:56 am

    all the people coming into the hospital were shown as if they were hurt by the police, this is the only government hospital in Bahrain ! any car accident, any one hurt from anything all over bahrain will get in there , how do you know it was all because of the police.
    I am sorry if my reply was rude , but that is how the media have been toward bahrain in the past few days.
    if you were living safe in your country and out of nowhere that happened to you , and every time you flip a channel you see a lie , what would you do?? would you believe your president or someone who has denied all what this country has given him? would you believe your own TV channels or a channel reporting from Iran?
    If you are not bahraini and living here, then you can't judge fairly!

    By: ConcernedBH
  10. February 22, 2011, 10:21 pm

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