BAHRAIN

Pearl Square monument demolished

Bahrain on Friday demolished the monument in Manama's Pearl Square, which had stood at the central staging point for the nation's pro-democracy movement. Protesters had been camped for a month around the arches supporting the giant pearl.

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AFP - Bahrain on Friday demolished a monument at the capital's Pearl Square which had come to symbolise the kingdom's pro-democracy movement, after security forces smashed a protest sit-in there.

BNA official news agency carried a picture of the crumbled monument, saying its destruction reflected the "government's keenness to optimize services and improve the infrastructure."

The pile of rubble where activists had camped and rallied for a month until Wednesday, when three were killed as police assaulted the area, was part of a "facelift... to boost flow of traffic in this vital area."

The statue of a giant pearl on top of sweeping arches represented Gulf state unity and Bahrain's traditional pearl industry, a mainstay of the local economy before it was transformed by oil.
 

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