Bahraini troops fire on peaceful protesters in chaotic scene

MANAMA, Bahrain - Bahraini troops fired live ammunition and tear gas Friday at thousands of peaceful protesters in the capital's main square, causing dozens of casualties.

People carrying men, women and children - some bleeding from bullet wounds, others overcome by tear gas - crowded into Salmanya Medical Center, where the frantic, overwhelmed staff struggled to cope.

Thousands of demonstrators, who are demanding that a democratic system replace Bahrain's ruling Al Khalifa dynasty, then converged on the hospital, prompting security forces to fire tear gas around the facility.

"We are peaceful. We don't even have a rock," cried Mohammad, a 26-year-old laborer, as the throng shouted, "The victory is from Allah and it will be with us" and "Down, down, Khalifa" and "Tell the world.