In a pre-dawn raid, police in Bahrain have moved into Pearl  Square where protesters have been gathering, with reports of at least one dead in a hail of bullets and tear gas.

BBC sets the scene:

Security forces in Bahrain have moved into Pearl Square in the centre of capital, Manama, trying to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters.

Hundreds of riot police using tear gas and batons moved into the square before dawn on Thursday.

Al Jazeera English provides more in their Bahrain live blog:

3.30am Police in Manama have used teargas to disperse protesters camped out in the capital, witnesses told the Reuters news agency. “Police are coming, they are shooting teargas at us,” one demonstrator said.

410am Maryama Alkawaka of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights was at Pearl roundabout when police attempted to break up the protest. She said police began shooting at sleeping protesters from the bridge above the roundabout.

4.25am Sources tell Al Jazeera that at least one person was killed in the attack on protesters by Bahraini police. A member of the political opposition confirmed that women and children were among those attacked.

The BBC article above presents the objectives of the protesters:

The Bahraini demonstrators say they want:

  • political prisoners to be released
  • more jobs and housing
  • the creation of a more representative and empowered parliament
  • a new constitution written by the people
  • a new cabinet that does not include Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, who has been in office for 40 years