Thousands of furious Bahrainis have participated in mass funerals for anti-government protesters killed by security forces on Thursday.
The funeral of two men killed by police began in the Shia village of Sitra, east of Manama, on Friday, Press TV correspondent reported.

Bahrainis hold funeral of rally victims

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The burial ceremonies of two others are to take place after the noon prayers.

The mourners chanted anti-government slogans and called for national unity against the government.

On Thursday, at least four protesters were killed, 67 have gone missing and about 230 others were reported injured after Bahraini security forces stormed a protest camp in Pearl Square in downtown Manama and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators.

Medical sources believe that most of those missing are dead.

Bahraini protesters have renamed the square as Tahrir Square, after the square in Egypt that became the focal point of pro-democracy protests, leading to Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.

Later in the day, eighteen members of the Bahrain parliament resigned from their posts in a show of rage against the violent crackdown against pro-democracy demonstrators in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

However, after that, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa praised the military for its nighttime crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

The king paid a visit to the Defense Force General Command on Thursday and discussed the raid as well as his government’s ongoing strategy with Commander-in-Chief Marshal Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and top-ranking defense officials.

He later addressed troops and praised them for their “bravery and readiness to assume their national duties.”

The Bahraini army has warned protesters not to take to the streets. It has threatened to do whatever it takes to maintain security.

The government is trying to quell the protests, which have been inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

The magnitude of the pro-democracy protests in Bahrain is unprecedented in the history of the kingdom and the authorities’ efforts to quell them have so far been ineffective.

The demonstrators are demanding a new constitution that would move the country toward democracy and limit the king’s powers.

Bahrain is ruled by a royal family that has been blamed for discrimination against the country’s majority Shia population — accounting for 70 percent of the total population.

Protesters have called on the Bahraini king to fire his uncle, Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, who has been the country’s prime minister since 1971.

Meanwhile, foreign ministers from the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council held an emergency meeting in Manama on Thursday night to discuss the latest developments in Bahrain.

The US Department of Defense has refused to condemn the Bahraini government’s crackdown on protesters, saying Washington is monitoring the developments in Bahrain.

The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based in the kingdom of Bahrain

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