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Bahrain Vows to Ease Tension; Mideast Unrest Spreads

Bahrain’s authorities backed down from a standoff with protesters in a bid to ease tensions as government forces in Yemen, Libya and Djibouti shot at demonstrators, seeking to suppress calls for change sparked by the toppling of leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.

Protesters poured into Pearl Roundabout in downtown Manama, the Bahraini capital, yesterday after tanks and armored personnel carriers withdrew on the orders of Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The crown prince, speaking on Bahrain TV, said the country is entering a phase “in which we will discuss all our issues sincerely and honestly. Calm is required so all parties can put forward their views and issues in a responsible and productive way.”