Honda F1 website

MARCH 11, 2006

All quiet in the western suburbs

Rioters trying to draw attention to domestic issues in Bahrain achieved their goal on Friday night in Bahrain, by targeting an area where many western press were staying for the Grand Prix. Journalists were not allowed into the area as the protesters ransacked shops, pelted riot police with rocks and blew up gas cylinders. The police and soldiers later dispersed the rioters using tear gas. A total of 20 people were taken to the Salmaniya Medical Complex with injuries or breathing difficulties caused by inhaling tear gas. According to Capital Governorate security director Colonel Isa Al Mosalam the problems were caused by youths who took advantage of a peaceful demonstration to go on the rampage. A number of those involved were arrested. The country's Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa and Public Security chief Major General Abdullatif Al Zayani visited the scene. On Saturday, however, life was back to normal in Bahrain although the authorities will not have appreciated the disruption while the spotlight of the world is on the country.