ABC Correspondent Attacked in Bahrain


In the latest instance of an American journalist coming under attack while covering the spreading unrest in the Middle East, Miguel Marquez, an ABC News correspondent, was set upon and beaten while covering protests in Bahrain on Wednesday, the network said.

Mr. Marquez was not seriously injured. He had been filing a report from Pearl Square in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, where thousands had gathered for protests on Wednesday, when he was suddenly hit with billy clubs and had his camera yanked from his hands by what he called “a gang of thugs.”

In an audio clip of the attack, which was posted on the ABC News Web site, Mr. Marquez can be heard pleading with his attackers — “No! No! No! Hey, I’m a journalist here!” — and then retreating from the square, where he said the police were aggressively trying to clear the crowds.

“I’m hit,” he says anxiously. “I just got beat rather badly by a gang of thugs. I’m now in a marketplace near our hotel where people are cowering in buildings.’

“I mean, these people are not screwing around,” he adds. “They’re going to clear that square tonight, ahead of any protest on Friday. The government clearly does not want this to get any bigger.”

The demonstrations in Bahrain are part of a wave of antigovernment protests spreading in the Middle East. For the last three days, tens of thousands of protesters have gathered in Pearl Square demanding political changes and greater opportunities for work from King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, whose family has ruled Bahrain for centuries.

Several other American television correspondents have been attacked in the region in recent weeks. CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Christiane Amanpour were targeted by angry crowds while reporting from Cairo earlier this month, and more recently Lara Logan, the CBS News correspondent, was beaten and sexually assaulted in Cairo while reporting on Hosni Mubarak’s announcement that he was stepping down. Logan received medical treatment and returned to the United States, CBS said.


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